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CARNEGIE INSTITUTE 
OF TECHNOLOGY 




THE LIBRARY 



THE MEMOIRS OF 
HARRIETTS WILSON 



THE MEMOIRS OF 
HARRIETTE WILSON 

WRITTEN BY HERSELF 



VOLUME ONE 



LONDON 
EVELEIGH NASH 

FAWSIDE HOUSE 
1909 



PRINTED BY BALLANTVNK &* Co. LIMITED 
AT THK BALLANIYNK PK*SS LONDON 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

VOLUME ONE 

HARRIETTE WILSON Frontispiece 

GEORGE, SIXTH DUKE OF AHGYLE To face page 6*4 

*FREDERICK BYNG (" POODLE BYNG ") w 100 

*LoRD HERTFORD 286 

AMY SISTER OF HARRIETTS WILSON .. 304 



N.B. The illustrations marked with an asterisk (*) are reproduced, 
fascimile, from the famous Deighton portraits 



NOTE REGARDING HARRIETTE WILSON 

HARRIETTS WILSON, the daughter of John and Amelia 
Dubochet, was born in London on February 22, 1786. 
Her birth is recorded in the Parish Register of St. 
George, Hanover Square, and her father's name 
appears in the List of Rate Payers (1786) as residing 
at 2 Carrington Street, Mai/fair. The house still exists, 
and its external structure seems to have been unaltered 
since the time it was built. 

In old peerage volumes Dubochet, whose daughter 
Sophia married the second Lord Berwick, is vaguely 
described as M. Dubochet of Switzerland, but there is 
good reason for assuming that he was a clockmaker. 
TJie article on Harriette Wilson in the Dictionary of 
National Biography states that she was born about 
1789, that her father kept a small shop in Mayfair, 
and that she flourished between the years 1810 and 
1825. There can be no question, however, that sfte 
was on terms of intimacy, about 1805, with the sixth 
Duke of Ar gyle, and that in the following year she 
became the mistress of John, afterwards Viscount, 
Ponsonby, a handsome man of whom George IV. was 
jealous on account of Lady Conyngham. Ponsonby 
succeeded as Baron on November 5, 1806, and, as 

I A * 1 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

related in the Memoirs, he met Harriette a few weeks 
before his father's death. 

The Memoirs were first published in 1825 by John 
Joseph Stockdale, who issued them in paper cover 
parts, and so great was tfie demand that a barrier 
had to be erected in Stockdale's shop to regulate the 
crowd that came to buy. Thirty editions are said to 
have been sold in one year, and the work was also 
pirated by T. Douglas, E. Thomas, and others. The 
present edition is reprinted from the original paper 
cover parts. 

The Duke of Wellington, the Marquis of Worcester, 
Lord Alvanky, "Poodle" Byng, Beau Srumm^ll, 
66 King " Allen, Lord Yarmouth ( Thackeray's Marquis 
of Steyne), and the third Duke of Leinstcr, were 
among the numerous m&n of ranl\ and fashion who 
came to Harriette's house, and what is really valuable 
in her book is the almost photographic fidelity with 
which she reproduces tJte conversations and traits of her 
visitors. Site observed the men of her " salon " as only 
a clever woman can, and, because of this, the Memoirs 
are lifted from worthlcssncss and form a most interest- 
ing addition to the society chronicles of the time. Sir 
Walter Scott in his Journal, December 9, 1825, writes 
as follows about the Memoirs and Harriette : 

"... tJiere is some good retailing of conversations, 
in which the style of the speaker ', so far as known to 
me, is exactly imitated. . . . Some one asked Lord 

A y, himself very sorrily handled from time to 

time, if Harriette Wilson had been pretty correct on 
the whole. ' Why, faith,' he replied, * I believe so.' . . . 
I think,' 9 proceeds Sir Walter, " / once supped in her 
2 



Colonel Rochfort, with whom she resided for a time 
at 111 Rue du Faubourg St. Honor c, Paris. 

E. N. 



8 



CHAPTER I 

I SHALL not say why and how I became, at the age 
of fifteen, the mistress of the Earl of Craven. Whether 
it was love, or the severity of my father, the depravity 
of my own heart, or the winning arts of the noble 
lord, which induced me to leave my paternal roof 
and place myself under his protection, does not now 
much signify ; or, if it does, I am not in the humour 
to gratify curiosity in this matter. 

1 resided on the Marine Parade at Brighton, and I 
remember that Lord Craven used to draw cocoa trees, 
and his fellows as he called them, on the best vellum 
paper for my amusement. " Here stood the enemy," he 
would say, ** and here, my love, are my fellows. There 
the cocoa trees, &c." It was, in fact, a dead bore. All 
these cocoa trees and fellows, at past eleven o'clock 
at night, could have no peculiar interest for a child 
like myself, so lately in the habit of retiring early to 
rest. One night, I recollect, I fell asleep ; and, as I 
often dream, I said yawning, and half awake, " O 
Lord ! O Lord ! Craven has got me into the West 
Indies again." In short I soon found that I had made 
but a bad speculation, by going from my father to 
Lord Craven. I was even more afraid of the latter 
than I had been of the former. Not that there was 
any particular harm in the man beyond his cocoa 
trees ; but we never suited nor understood each 
other. 

1 was not depraved enough to determine imme- 
diately on a new choice, and yet I often thought 
about it. How indeed could 1 do otherwise, when 

5 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

the Honourable Frederick Lamb was my constant 
visitor, and talked to me of nothing else ? However, 
in justice to myself, I must declare that the idea of 
the possibility of deceiving Lord Craven while I was 
under his roof, never once entered into my head. 
Frederick was then very handsome, and certainly 
tried with all his soul and with all his strength, to 
convince me that constancy to Lord Craven was the 
greatest nonsense in the world. I firmly believe that 
Frederick Lamb sincerely loved me, and deeply re- 
gretted that he had no fortune to invite me to share 
with him. 

Lord Melbourne, his father, was a good man. Not 
one of your stiff-laced, moralising fathers, who preach 
chastity and forbearance to their children. Quite the 
contrary, he congratulated his son on the lucky cir- 
cumstance of his friend Craven having such a fine 
girl with him. 

" No such thing," answered Frederick Lamb, " I 
am unsuccessful there. Harriette will have nothing 
at all to do with me." 

66 Nonsense ! " rejoined Melbourne, in great sur- 
prise, " 1 never heard anything half so ridiculous in 
ail my life. The girl must be mad ! She looks mad. 
I thought so the other day, when I met her galloping 
about, with her feathers blowing, and her thick dark 
hair about her earb. 

" I'll speak to Harriette for you," added his lord- 
ship, after a long pause, and then continued repeating 
to himself, in an undertone, " not have my son in- 
deed ! Six feet high ! A fine, straight, handsome, 
noble young fellow ! I wonder what she would 
have!" 

In truth, I scarcely knew myself; but something I 
determined on : so miserably tired was 1 of Craven, 
and his cocoa trees, and his sailing-boats, and his 
ugly, cotton nightcap. 

" Surely," I would say, " all men do not wear those 
shocking nightcaps ; else all women's illusions had 
been destroyed on the first night of their marriage 1 " 
6 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

I wonder, thought I, what sort of a nightcap the 
Prince of Wales wears ? Then I went on to wonder 
whether the Prince of Wales would think me as 
beautiful as Frederick Lamb did ? Next I reflected 
that Frederick Lamb was younger than the Prince ; 
but then again, a Prince of Wales ! 

I was undecided: my heart began to soften. I 
thought of my dear mother and I wished I had never 
left her. It was too late, however, now. My father 
would not suffer me to return, and, as to passing my 
life, or any more of it, with Craven, cotton night-cap 
and all, it was death ! He never once made me 
laugh, nor said anything to please me. 

Thus musing, I listlessly turned over my writing 
book, half in the humour to address the Prince of 
Wales ! A sheet of paper, covered with Lord Craven's 
cocoa trees, decided me, and I wrote the following 
letter, which I addressed to the Prince. 

" BRIGHTON 

" I am told that I am very beautiful, so perhaps 
you would like to see me ; and I wish that, since so 
many are disposed to love me, one, for in the humility 
of my heart I should be quite satisfied with one, 
would be at the pains to make me love him. In the 
meantime, this is all very dull work, Sir, and worse 
even than being at home with my father : so, if you 
pity me, and believe you could make me in love with 
you, write to me, and direct to the post office here." 

By return of post, I received an answer nearly to 
this effect : I believe from Colonel Thomas. 

" Miss Wilson's letter has been received by the 
noble individual to whom it was addressed. If Miss 
Wilson will come to town, she may have an interview, 
by directing her letter as before." 

I answered this note directly, addressing my letter 
to the Prince of Wales. 

<fc SIR, To travel fifty-two miles this bad weather, 
merely to see a man, with only the given number of 

7 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

legs, arms, fingers, &c., would, you must admit, be 
madness in a girl like myself, surrounded by humble 
admirers who are ever ready to travel any distance for 
the honour of kissing the tip of her little finger ; but, 
if you can prove to me that you are one bit better than 
any man who may be ready to attend my bidding, 
I'll e'en start for London directly. So, if you can do 
anything better in the way of pleasing a lady than 
ordinary men, write directly : if not, adieu, Monsieur 
le Prince." 

It was necessary to put this letter into the post 
office myself, as Lord Craven's black footman would 
have been somewhat surprised at its address. Crossing 
the Steyne 1 met Lord Melbourne, who joined me 
immediately. 

" Where is Craven ? " said his lordship, shaking 
hands with me. 

" Attending to his military duties at Lewes, my 
lord." 

" And where's my son Fred ? " asked his lordship. 

" I am not your son's keeper, my lord," said I. 

" No ! By the bye," inquired his lordship, " how is 
this ? I wanted to call upon you about it. I never 
heard of such a thing in the whole course of my life 1 
What the devil can you possibly have to say against 
my son Fred ? " 

" Good heavens ! my lord, you frighten me ! I never 
recollect to have said a single word against your son, 
as long as I have lived. Why should I ? " 

" Why, indeed ! " said Lord Melbourne. " And, 
since there is nothing to be said against him, what 
excuse can you make for using him so ill ? " 

"I don't understand you one bit, my lord." The 
very idea of a father put me in a tremble. 

" Why," said Lord Melbourne, " did you not turn 
the poor boy out of your house as soon as it was dark, 
although Craven was in town, and there was not the 
shadow of an excuse for such treatment ? " 

At this moment, and before I could recover from 
8 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

my surprise at the tenderness of some parents, Frede- 
rick Lamb, who was almost my shadow, joined us. 

" Fred, rriy boy," said Lord Melbourne, " I'll leave 
you two together, and I fancy you'll find Miss Wilson 
more reasonable.'* He touched his hat to me, as he 
entered the little gate of the Pavilion, where we had 
remained stationary from the moment his lordship had 
accosted me. 

Frederick Lamb laughed long, loud, and heartily, 
at his father's interference. So did I, the moment he 
was safely out of sight, and then I told him of my 
answer to the Prince's letter, at which he laughed still 
more. He was charmed with me, for refusing His 
Royal Highness. 

"Not," said Frederick, "that he is not as hand- 
some and graceful a man as any in England; but I 
hate the weakness of a woman who knows not how to 
refuse a prince, merely because he is a prince." 

"It is something, too, to be of royal blood," answered 
I frankly ; " and something more to be accomplished : 
but this posting after a man 1 I wonder what he 
could mean by it ! " 

Frederick Lamb now began to plead his own cause. 

" I must soon join my regiment in Yorkshire," said 
he : he was, at that time aide-de-camp to General 
Mackenzie : "God knows when we may meet again 1 
I am sure you will not long continue with Lord 
Craven. I foresee what will happen, and yet, when 
it does, I think I shall go mad ! " 

For my part 1 felt flattered and obliged by the 
affection Frederick Lamb evinced towards me ; but 
I was still not in love with him. 

At length, the time arrived when poor Frederick 
Lamb could delay his departure from Brighton no 
longer. On the eve of it he begged to be allowed to 
introduce his brother William to me. 

" What for ? " said I. 

" That he may let me know how you behave," 
answered Frederick Lamb. 

" And if I fall in love with him ? " I inquired, 

9 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" I am sure you won't," replied Fred. " Not 
because my brother William is not likeable ; on the 
contrary, William is much handsomer than I am ; 
but he will not love you as I have done and do still, 
and you are too good to forget me entirely." 

Our parting scene was rather tender. For the last 
ten days, Lord Craven being absent, we had scarcely 
been separated an hour during the whole day. I had 
begun to feel the force of habit, and Frederick Lamb 
really respected me, for the perseverance with which 
I had resisted his urgent wishes, when he would have 
had me deceive Lord Craven. He had ceased to 
torment me with such wild fits of passion as had at 
first frightened me, and by these means he had obtained 
much more of my confidence. 

Two days after his departure for Hull, in York- 
shire, Lord Craven returned to Brighton, where he 
was immediately informed by some spiteful enemy of 
mine, that I had been during the whole of his absence 
openly intriguing with Frederick Lamb. In conse- 
quence of this information, one evening, when I 
expected his return, his servant brought me the 
following letter, dated Lewes : 

"A friend of mine has informed me of what has 
been going on at Brighton. This information, added 
to what I have seen with my own eyes, of your 
intimacy with Frederick Lamb, obliges me to declare 
that we must separate. Let me add, Harriette, that 
you might have done anything with me, with only a 
little mere conduct. As it is, allow me to wish you 
happy, and further, pray inform me, if in any way, a 
la distance, I can promote your welfare. 

" CRAVEN." 

This letter completed my dislike of Lord Craven. 
I answered it immediately, as follows : 

" MY LORD, Had I ever wished to deceive you, I 
have the wit to have done it successfully ; but you are 
old enough to be a better judge of human nature than 
10 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

to have suspected me of guile or deception. In the 
plenitude of your condescension, you are pleased to 
add that I ' might have done anything with you, with 
only a little mere conduct,' now I say, and from my 
heart, the Lord defend me from ever doing anything 
with you again ! Adieu, 

" HARRIETTE." 

My present situation was rather melancholy and 
embarrassing, and yet I felt my heart the lighter for 
my release from the cocoa- trees, without its being my 
own act and deed. " It is my fate ! " thought I ; " for 
1 never wronged this man. I hate his fine carriage, 
and his money, and everything belonging to or con- 
nected with him. I shall hate cocoa as long as I live ; 
and I am sure I will never enter a boat again if I can 
help it. This is what one gets by acting with 
principle." 

The next morning, while I was considering what 
was to become of me, I received a very affectionate 
letter from Frederick Lamb, dated Hull. He dared 
not, he said, be selfish enough to ask me to share his 
poverty, and yet he had a kind of presentiment that 
he should not lose me. 

My case was desperate ; for I had taken a vow not 
to remain another night under Lord Craven's roof. 
John, therefore, the black whom Craven had, I sup- 
pose, imported with his cocoa-trees from the West 
Indies, was desired to secure me a place in the mail 
for Hull. 

It is impossible to do justice to the joy and rapture 
which brightened Frederick's countenance, when he 
flew to receive me and conducted me to his house, 
where 1 was shortly visited by his worthy general, 
Mackenzie, who assured me of his earnest desire to 
make my stay in Hull as comfortable as possible. 

We continued here for about three months, and 
then came to London. Fred Lamb's passion increased 
daily ; but I discovered, on our arrival in London, 
that he was a voluptuary, somewhat worldly and 

11 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

selfish. My comforts were not considered. I lived 
in extreme poverty, while he contrived to enjoy all 
the luxuries of life, and suffered me to pass my dreary 
evenings alone, while he frequented balls, masquerades, 
&c. Secure of my constancy, he was satisfied so 
was not I ! I felt that I deserved better from him. 

I asked Frederick one day, if the Marquis of Lome 
was as handsome as he had been represented to me. 
" The finest fellow on earth," said Frederick Lamb, 
" all the women adore him ; " and then he went on to 
relate various anecdotes of his lordship, which strongly 
excited my curiosity. 

Soon after this he quitted town for a few weeks, 
and I was left alone in London, without money, or 
at any rate with very little, and Frederick Lamb, who 
had intruded himself on me at Brighton, and thus 
been the cause of my separation from Lord Craven, 
made himself happy ; because he believed me faithful 
and cared not for my distresses. 

This idea disgusted me ; and in a fit of anger I 
wrote to the Marquis of Lome, merely to say that, if 
he would walk up to Duke's Row, Somers-town, he 
would meet a most lovely girl. 

This was his answer, 

"If you are but half as lovely as you think your- 
self, you must be well worth knowing ; but how is 
that to be managed ? Not in the street ! but come to 
No. 39 Portland-street and ask for me. 

" L." 

My reply was this, 

" No ! our first meeting must be on the high road, 
in order that 1 may have room to run away, in case I 
don't like you. 

<k HARRIETTE." 

The marquis rejoined, 

" Well then, fair lady, to-morrow at four, near the 
turnpike, look for me on horseback, and then you 
know I can gallop away. 

" L." 
12 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

We met. The duke he has since succeeded to 
the title did not gallop away ; and for my part I had 
never seen a countenance I had thought half so beau- 
tifully expressive. I was afraid to look at it, lest a 
closer examination might destroy all the new and 
delightful sensations his first glance had inspired in 
my breast. His manner was most gracefully soft 
and polished. We walked together for about two 
hours. 

" 1 never saw such a sunny, happy countenance as 
yours in my whole life," said Argyle to me. 

" Oh, but I am happier than usual to-day," answered 
I, very naturally. 

Before we parted, the duke knew as much of me 
and my adventures as I knew myself. He was very 
anxious to be allowed to call on me. 

" And how will your particular friend Frederick 
Lamb like that ? " inquired I. 

The duke laughed. 

" Well then," said his grace, " do me the honour, 
some day, to come and dine or sup with me at Argyle 
House." 

" I shall not be able to run away, if I go there," I 
answered, laughingly, in allusion to my last note. 

" Shall you want to run away from me ? " said 
Argyle ; and there was something unusually beautiful 
and eloquent in his countenance, which brought a 
deep blush into my cheek. 

"When we know each other better?" added 
Argyle, beseechingly. " En attendant, will you 
walk again with me to-morrow ? " I assented, and 
we parted. 

I returned to my home in unusual spirits: they 
were a little damped, however, by the reflection that 
I had been doing wrong. " I cannot," I reasoned with 
myself, " I cannot, I fear, become what the world calls 
a steady, prudent, virtuous woman. That time is 
past, even if I was ever fit for it. Still I must distin- 
guish myself from those in the like unfortunate situa- 
tions, by strict probity and love of truth. I will 

IS 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

never become vile. I will always adhere to good 
faith, as long as anything like kindness or honourable 
principle is shown towards me : and, when I am ill 
used, I will leave my lover rather than deceive 
him. 

" Frederick Lamb relies, in perfect confidence, on 
my honour. True that confidence is the effect of 
vanity. He believes that a woman who could resist 
him, as I did at Brighton, is the safest woman on 
earth 1 He leaves me alone and without sufficient 
money for common necessaries. 

" No matter ; I must tell him to-night, as soon as he 
arrives from the country, that I have written to and 
walked with Lome. My dear mother would never 
forgive me if I became artful." So mused, and thus 
reasoned I, till 1 was interrupted by Frederick Lamb's 
loud knock at my door. 

" He will be in a fine passion," said I to myself, in 
excessive trepidation ; and I was in such a hurry to 
have it over that I related all immediately. To my 
equal joy and astonishment Frederick Lamb was not 
a bit angry. From his manner I could not help 
guessing that his friend Lome had often been found 
a very powerful rival. 

I could see through the delight he experienced at 
the idea of possessing a woman whom, his vanity 
persuaded him, Argyle would sigh for in vain : and, 
attacking me on my weak point, he kissed me, and 
said, " I have the most perfect esteem for my dearest 
little wife, whom, I can, I know, as safely trust with 
Argyle as Craven trusted her with me." 

" Are you quite sure ? " asked I, merely to ease my 
conscience. " Were it not wiser to advise me not to 
walk about with him ? " 

" No, no," said Frederick Lamb ; k< it is such good 
fun ! bring him up every day to Somers-town and the 
Jew's Harp house, there to swallow cider and senti- 
ment. Make him walk up here as many times as 
you can, dear little Harry, for the honour of your 
sex, and to punish him for declaring, as he always 
14 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

does, that no woman who will not love him at once is 
worth his pursuit." 

" I am sorry he is such a coxcomb," said I. 

" What is that to you, you little fool ?" 

" True," I replied. And, at the moment, I made a 
sort of determination not to let the beautiful and 
voluptuous expression of Argyle's dark blue eyes 
take possession of my fancy. 

" You are a neater figure than the Marquis of 
Lome ; " said I to Frederick, wishing to think so. 

" Lome is growing fat," answered Frederick 
Lamb ; " but he is the most active creature possible, 
and appears lighter than any man of his weight I ever 
saw; and then he is, without any exception, the 
highest bred man in England." 

" And you desire and permit me to walk about the 
country with him ? " 

" Yes ; do trot him often up here. I want to have 
a laugh against Lome." 

" And you are not jealous ? " 

"Not at all/' said Frederick Lamb, "for I am 
secure of your affections." 

" I must not deceive this man," thought I, and the 
idea began to make me a little melancholy. "My 
only chance, or rather my only excuse, will be his 
leaving me without the means of existence." This 
appeared likely ; for I was too shy, and too proud to 
ask for money : and Frederick Lamb encouraged me 
in this amiable forbearance ! 

The next morning, with my heart beating un- 
usually high, I attended my appointment with 
Argyle. I hoped, nay almost expected, to find him 
there before me. T paraded near the turnpike five 
minutes, then grew angry; in five more, I became 
wretched ; in five more, downright indignant ; and, 
in five more, wretched again and so I returned 
home. 

"This," thought I, "shall be a lesson to me here- 
after, never to meet a man : it is unnatural : " and yet 
I had felt it perfectly natural to return to the person 

15 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

whose society had made me so happy ! "No matter/' 
reasoned I, " we females must not suffer love or 
pleasure to glow in our eyes, until we are quite sure of 
a return. We must be dignified ! " 

Alas ! I can only be and seem what I am. No 
doubt my sunny face of joy and happiness, which he 
talked to me about, was understood, and it has 
disgusted him. He thought me bold, and yet I 
am sure I never blushed so much in any man's 
society before. 

I now began to consider myself with feelings of 
the most painful humility. Suddenly I flew to my 
writing-desk ; " He shall not have the cut all on his 
side, neither," thought I, with the pride of a child, 
" I will soon convince him I am not accustomed to be 
slighted ; " and then I wrote to his grace as follows : 

" It was very wrong and very bold of me to have 
sought your acquaintance, in the way I did, my lord; 
and I entreat you to forgive and to forget my childish 
folly, as completely as I have forgotten the occasion 
of it" 

" So far so good," thought I, pausing, " but then 
suppose he should, from this dry note, really believe 
me so cold and stupid as not to have felt his pleasing 
qualities. ' Suppose now it were possible he liked me 
after all ! " Then hastily, and half ashamed of myself, 
I added these few lines : 

" I have not quite deserved this contempt from 
you, and, in that consolatory reflection, I take my 
leave ; not in anger my lord, but only with the steady 
determination so to profit by the humiliating lesson 
you have given me as never to expose myself to the 
like contempt again. 

4fc Your most obedient servant, 

" HARRIETTS WILSON." 

Having put my letter into the post, I passed a 
restless night : and the next morning, heard the 
knock of the twopenny postman in extreme agita- 
16 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

tion. He brought me, as I suspected, an answer 
from Argyle, which is subjoined* 

" You are not half vain enough, dear Harriette. 
You ought to have been quite certain that any man 
who had once met you could not fail in a second 
appointment but from unavoidable accident and, if 
you were only half as pleased with Thursday morn- 
ing, as I was, you will meet me to-morrow in the 
same place at four. Pray, pray, come, 

"LORNE." 

I kissed the letter and put it into my bosom, grate- 
ful for the weight it had taken off my heart. Not 
that I was so far gone in love as my readers may 
imagine ; but I had suffered from wounded pride, and, 
in fact, I was very much tctc monte. 

The sensations which Argyle had inspired me with 
were the warmest, nay, the first, of the same nature, 
I had ever experienced. Nevertheless, I could not 
forgive him quite so easily as this neither. I recollect 
what Frederick Lamb had said about his vanity. 
" No doubt," thought I, " he thinks it was nothing to 
have paraded me up and down that stupid turnpike 
road, in the vain hope of seeing him. It shall now be 
his turn : and I gloried in the idea of revenge." 

The hour of Argyle's appointment drew nigh, 
arrived, and passed away, without my leaving my 
house. To Frederick Lamb I related everything, 
presented him with Argyle's letter, and acquainted 
him with my determination not to meet his grace. 

" How good 1" said Frederick Lamb, quite delighted. 
" We dine together to-day at Lady Holland's, and 
I mean to ask him, before everybody at table, what 
he thinks of the air about the turnpike in Somers- 
town." 

The next day I was surprised by a letter, not, as I 
anticipated, from Argyle, but from the late Tom 
Sheridan, only son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 
I had, by mere accident, become acquainted with that 
very interesting young man when quite a child, from 

i B 17 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

the circumstance of his having paid great attention to 
one of my elder sisters. 

He requested me to allow him to speak a few words 
to me, wherever 1 pleased. Frederick Lamb having 
gone to Brockett Hall in Hertfordshire, I desired him 
to call on me. 

" I am come from my friend Lome," said Tom 
Sheridan. " I would not have intruded on you ; but 
that, poor fellow, he is really annoyed, and he has 
commissioned me to acquaint you with the accident 
which obliged him to break his appointment ; because 
I can best vouch for the truth of it, having upon my 
honour, with my own ears, heard the Prince of Wales 
invite Lord Lome to Carlton House at the very 
moment when he was about to meet you in Somers- 
town. Lome," continued Tom Sheridan, " desires 
me to say, that he is not coxcomb enough to imagine 
you cared for him ; but in justice, he wants to stand 
exactly where he did in your opinion, before he broke 
his appointment : he was so perfectly innocent on 
that subject. * I would write to her,' said he, again 
and again, 6 but that, in all probability, my letters 
would be shown to Frederick Lamb, and be laughed 
at by them both. I would call on her, in spite of the 
devil ; but that I know not where she lives.' 

" 1 asked Argyle," Tom Sheridan proceeded, <k how 
he had addressed his last letters to you ? ' To the 
post office in Somers-town,' was his answer, * and 
thence they were forwarded to Harriette.'" (He had 
tried to bribe the old woman there, to obtain my 
address, but she abused him, and turned him out of 
her shop.) " ' It is very hard,'" continued Tom, re- 
peating the words of his noble friend, " * to lose the 
good-will of one of the nicest, cleverest girls 1 ever 
met with in my life, who was, I am certain, civilly if 
not kindly disposed towards me, by such a mere 
accident.' Therefore," continued Tom Sheridan, 
smiling, " you'll make it up with Lome, won't you ? " 

" There is nothing to forgive," said I, "if no slight 
was meant. In short you are making too much ot 
18 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

me, and spoiling me, by all this explanation ; for, in- 
deed, I had at first been less indignant, but that 1 

fancied his grace neglected me because " and I 

hesitated, while I could feel myself blush deeply. 

" Because what ? " asked Tom Sheridan. 

" Nothing ; " I replied, looking at my shoes. 

" What a pretty girl you are," observed Sheridan, 
" particularly when you blush." 

" Fiddlestick ! " said I, laughing, " you know you 
always preferred my sister Fanny." 

" Well," replied Tom, " there I plead guilty. 
Fanny is the sweetest creature on earth ; but you are 
all a nice of finished coquettes, who delight in making 
fools of people. 

" Now can anything come up to your vanity in 
writing to Lome, that you are the most beautiful 
creature on earth ? " 

" Never mind," said I, " you set all that to rights. 
I was never vain in your society, in my life." 

" I would give the world for a kiss, at this moment," 
said Tom ; " because you look so humble, and so 
amiable ; but " recollecting himself " this is not 
exactly the embassy I came upon. Have you a mind 
to give Lome an agreeable surprise ? " 

" I don't know." 

" Upon my honour I believe he is downright in 
love with you." 

" Well ? " 

" Come into a hackney-coach with me, and we will 
drive down to the Tennis Court, in the Haymarket." 

"Is the duke there?" 

"Yes." 

" But at all events, I will not trust myself in a 
hackney-coach with you." 

" There was a time," said poor Tom Sheridan, with 
much drollery of expression, "there was a time 
but now ! " and he shook his handsome head with 
comic gravity, " but now ! you may drive with me 
from here to St. Paul's in the most perfect safety. I 
will tell you a secret," added he, and he fixed his 

19 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

fine dark eye on my face while he spoke, in a tone, 
half merry, half desponding, " I am dying ; but 
nobody knows it yet ! " 

I was very much affected by his manner of saying 
this. 

"My dear Mr. Sheridan," said I, with earnest 
warmth, " you have accused me of being vain of the 
little beauty God has given me. Now I would give 
it all, or upon rny word I think I would, to obtain 
the certainty, that you would from this hour refrain 
from such excesses as are destroying you." 

" Did you see me play the methodist parson, in a 
tub, at Mrs. Beaumont's masquerade last Thursday ? " 
said Tom, with affected levity. 

" You may laugh as you please," said I, "at a little 
fool like me pretending to preach to you, yet I am 
sensible enough to admire you, and quite feeling 
enough to regret your time so misspent, your brilliant 
talents so misapplied." 

" Bravo ! Bravo ! " Tom reiterated, " what a 
funny little girl you are! Pray Miss, how is your 
time spent ? " 

4 * Not in drinking brandy," I replied. 

" And how might your talent be applied. Ma'am ? " 

" Have not I just given you a specimen, in the 
shape of a handsome quotation ? " 

41 My good little girl, it is in the blood, and I 
can't help it, and, if I could, it is too late now. I'm 
dying, I tell you. I know not if my poor father's 
physician was as eloquent as you are ; but he did his 
best to turn him from drinking. Among other things, 
he declared to him one day, that the brandy, Arque- 
busade, and Eau de Cologne, he swallowed, would 
burn off the coat of his stomach. * Then,' said my 
father, 4 my stomach must digest in its waistcoat; 
for I cannot help it/ " 

44 Indeed, I am very sorry for you," I replied : and 
I hope he believed me : for he pressed my hand 
hastily, and I think 1 saw a tear glisten in his bright, 
dark eye. 
20 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Shall I tell Lome/' said poor Tom, with an effort 
to recover his usual gaiety, " that you will write to 
him, or will you come to the Tennis-court ? " 

" Neither," answered I, " but you may tell his lord- 
ship, that, of course, I am not angry, since I am led to 
believe he had no intention to humble nor make a fool 
of me." 

" Nothing more ? " inquired Tom. 

*" Nothing," I replied, "for his lordship." 

4k And what for me ? " said Tom. 

" You ! what do you want ? " 

ik A kiss ! " he said. 

-Not I, indeed!" 

fck Be it so then ; and yet you and I may never 
meet again on this earth, and just now I thought 
you felt some interest about me " ; and he was going 
away. 

k * So 1 do, dear Tom Sheridan ! " said I, detaining 
him ; for 1 saw death had fixed his stamp on poor 
Sheridan's handsome face. " You know I have a 
very warm and feeling heart, and taste enough to 
admire and like you ; but why is this to be our last 
meeting ? " 

" I must go to the Mediterranean " ; poor Sheridan 
continued, putting his hand to his chest, and 
coughing. 

" To die ! " thought I, as I looked on his sunk, but 
still very expressive, dark eyes. 

" Then God bless you ! " said I, first kissing his 
hand, and then, though somewhat timidly, leaning my 
face towards him. lie parted my hair, and kissed my 
forehead, my eyes, and my lips. 

" If I do come back," said he, forcing a languid 
smile, " mind let me find you married, and rich 
enough to lend me an occasional hundred pounds or 
two." He then kissed his hand gracefully, and was 
out of sight in an instant. 

I never saw him again ! 



21 



CHAPTER II 

THE next morning my maid brought me a little note 
from Argyle to say that he had been waiting about my 
door an hour, having learned my address from poor 
Sheridan, and that, seeing the servant in the street, 
he could not help making an attempt to induce me to 
go out and walk with him. I looked out of window, 
saw Argyle, ran for my hat and cloak^ and joined him 
in an instant. 

" Am I forgiven ? " said Argyle with gentle 
eagerness. 

" Oh yes/ 1 returned I, " long ago ; but that will do 
you no good, for I really am treating Frederick Lamb 
very ill, and therefore must not walk with you 
again." 

"Why "not?" Argyle inquired. "Apropos," he 
added, " you told Frederick that I walked about the 
turnpike looking for you, and that, no doubt, to make 
him laugh at me ? " 

" No, not for that ; but I never could deceive any 
man. I have told him the whole story of our becom- 
ing acquainted, and he allows me to walk with you. 
It is I who think it wrong, not Frederick." 

" That is to say, you think me a bore," said Argyle, 
reddening with pique and disappointment. 

" And suppose I loved you ? " I asked ; " still I 
am engaged to Frederick Lamb, who trusts me, 
and " 

" If," interrupted Argyle, " it were possible you 
did love me, Frederick Lamb would be forgotten : 
but, though you did not love me, you must promise 
22 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

to try and do so some day or other. You don't 
know how much I have fixed my heart on it/' 

These sentimental walks continued more than a 
month. One evening we walked rather later than 
usual. It grew dark. In a moment of ungovernable 
passion, Argyle's ardour frightened me. Not that I 
was insensible to it : so much the contrary, that I 
felt certain another meeting must decide my fate. 
Still I was offended at what I conceived showed 
such a want of respect. The duke became humble. 
There is a charm in the humility of a lover who has 
offended. The charm is so great that we like to 
prolong it. In spite of all he could say I left him in 
anger. The next morning 1 received the following 
note : 

" If you see me waiting about your door to- 
morrow morning, do not fancy I am looking for 
you : but for your pretty housemaid." 

I did see him from a sly corner of my window ; 
but I resisted all my desires and remained concealed. 
" I dare not see him again," thought I, " for I cannot 
be so very profligate, knowing and feeling as 1 do, 
how impossible it will be to refuse him anything, if we 
meet again. 1 cannot treat Fred Lamb in this 
manner ! besides I should be afraid to tell him of it : 
he would perhaps kill me ! 

u But then, poor, dear Lome ! to return his kisses, 
as I did last night, and afterwards be so very severe 
on him, for a passion which it seemed so out of his 
power to control ! 

" Nevertheless we must part now, or never ; so I'll 
write and take my leave of him kindly." This was 
my letter : 

" At the first I was afraid 1 should love you, and, 
but for Fred Lamb having requested me to get you 
up to Somers-town after I had declined meeting you, 
I had been happy : now the idea makes me miserable. 
Still it must be so. I am naturally affectionate. 

28 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Habit attaches me to Fred Lamb. I cannot deceive 
him or acquaint him with what will cause him to cut 
me, in anger and for ever. We may not then meet 
again Lome, as hitherto : for now we could not 
be merely friends: lovers we must be hereafter, or 
nothing. I have never loved any man in my life 
before, and yet, dear Lome, you see we must part. 
I venture to send you the enclosed thick lock of my 
hair ; because you have been good enough to admire 
it. I do not care how 1 have disfigured my head 
since you are not to see it again. 

" God bless you, Lome. Do not quite forget last 
night, directly, and believe me, as in truth I am, 

" Most devotedly yours, 

" HARRIETTS." 

This was his answer, written, I suppose, in some 
pique : 

" True you have given me many sweet kisses, and a 
lock of your beautiful hair. All this does not convince 
me you are one bit in love with me. I am the last 
man on earth to desire you to do violence to your 
feelings by leaving a man as dear to you as Frederick 
Lamb . is, so farewell Harriette. 1 shall not intrude 
to offend you again. 

" LORNE." 

" Poor Lome is unhappy and, what is worse," 
thought I, "he will soon hate me ! " The idea made 
me wretched. However, I will do myself the justice 
to say, that I have seldom, in the whole course of my 
life, been tempted by my passions or my fancies to 
what my heart and conscience told me 'was wrong. 
I am afraid my conscience has been a very easy one ; 
but certainly I have followed its dictates. There 
was a want of heart and delicacy, I always thought, 
in leaving any man, without full and very sufficient 
reasons for it. At the same time, my dear mother's 
marriage had proved to me so forcibly the miseries 
of two people of contrary opinions and character 
24 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

torturing each other to the end of their natural lives, 
that, before I was ten years old, I decided in my own 
mind to live free as air from any restraint but that of 
my conscience. 

Frederick Lamb's love was now increasing, as all 
men's do, from gratified vanity. He sometimes 
passed an hour in reading to me. Till then, I had 
no idea of the gratification to be derived from books. 
In my convent in France I had read only sacred 
dramas; at home, my father's mathematical books, 
Hue/tans Medicine, Gil Bias, and The Vicar of Wake- 
field, formed our whole library. The two* latter I 
had long known by heart, and could repeat at this 
moment. 

My sisters used to subscribe to little circulating 
libraries in the neighbourhood, for the common novels 
of the day ; but I always hated these. Fred Lamb's 
choice was happy, Milton, Shakespeare, Byron, The 
Rambler, Virgil, &c. " I must know all about these 
Greeks and Romans," said I to myself. "Some 
day i will go into the country quite alone, and study 
like mad. I am too young now." 

In the meantime, 1 was absolutely charmed with 
Shakespeare. Music I always had a natural talent 
for. 1 played well on the pianoforte ; that is, with 
taste and execution ; though almost without study. 

There was a very elegant looking woman residing 
in my neighbourhood, in a beautiful little cottage, 
who had long excited my curiosity. She appeared to 
be the mother of five extremely beautiful children. 
These were always to be seen, with their nurse, 
walking out, most fancifully dressed. Every one 
used to stop to admire them. Their mother seemed 
to live in the most complete retirement. I never 
saw her with anybody besides her children. 

One day our eyes met: she smiled, and I half 
bowed. The next day we met again, and the lady 
wished me a good morning. We soon got into con- 
versation. 1 asked her if she did not lead a very 
solitary life. 

25 



MEMOIRS OF HARKIETTE WILSON 

" You are the first female I have spoken to for four 
years," said the lady, " with the exception of my own 
servants ; but/' added she, " some day we may know 
each other better. In the meantime will you trust 
yourself to come and dine with me to-day ? " 

" With great pleasure," I replied, " if you think 
me worthy that honour." 

We then separated to dress for dinner. 

When I entered her drawing-room at the hour she 
had appointed, I was struck with the elegant taste, 
more than with the richness of the furniture. A 
beautiful harp, drawings of a somewhat voluptuous 
cast, elegant needle-work, Moore's poems, and a fine 
pianoforte, formed a part of it. " She is not a bad 
woman and she is not a good woman/' said I to 
myself. " What can she be ? " 

The lady now efttered the room, and welcomed me 
with an appearance of real pleasure. " I am not quite 
sure," said she, " whether I can have the pleasure of 
introducing you to Mr. Johnstone to-day, or not. 
We will not wait dinner for him, if he does not arrive 
in time." This was the first word 1 had heard about 
a Mr. Johnstone, although I knew the lady was called 
by that name. 

Just as we were sitting down to dinner Mr. John- 
stone arrived and was introduced to me. He was a 
particularly elegant, handsome man, about forty years 
of age. His manner of addressing Mrs. Johnstone 
was more that of an humble romantic lover than of a 
husband ; yet Julia, for so he called her, could be no 
common woman. 1 could not endure all this mystery, 
and, when he left us in the evening, 1 frankly asked 
Julia, for so we will call her in future, why she 
invited a strange madcap girl like me, to dinner with 
her. 

" Consider the melancholy life I lead," said Julia. 

" Thank you for the compliment," answered I. 

" But do you believe," interrupted Julia, " that 1 
should have asked you to dine with me, if I had not 
been particularly struck and pleased with you ? I 
26 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

had, as I passed your window, heard you touch the 
pianoforte with a very masterly hand, and, therefore, 
I conceived that you were not uneducated, and I 
knew that you led almost as retired a life as myself. 
Au rested continued Julia, " some day, perhaps soon, 
you shall know all about me." 

I did not press the matter further at that moment, 
believing it would be indelicate. 

" Shall we go to the nursery ? " asked Julia. 

I was delighted; and, romping with her lovely 
children, dressing their dolls, and teaching them to 
skip, I forgot my love for Argyle, as much as if that 
excellent man had never been born. 

Indeed I am not quite sure that it would have 
occurred to me, even when I went home, but that 
Fred Lamb, who was just at this period showing 
Argyle up all over the town as my amorous 
shepherd, had a new story to relate of his grace. 

Horace Beckford and two other fashionable men, 
who had heard from Frederick of my cruelty as he 
termed it, and the duke's daily romantic walks to the 
Jew's Harp House, had come upon him by accident 
in a body, as they were galloping through Somers- 
town. Lome was sitting in a very pastoral fashion 
on a gate near my door, whistling. They saluted 
him with a loud laugh. No man could, generally 
speaking, parry a joke better than Argyle : for few 
knew the world better : but this was no joke. He 
had been severely wounded and annoyed by my 
cutting his acquaintance altogether, at the very 
moment when he had reason to believe that the 
passion he really felt for me was returned. It was 
almost the first instance of the kind he had ever met 
with. He was bored and vexed with himself for the 
time he had lost, and yet he found himself continually 
in my neighbourhood, almost before he was aware of 
it. He wanted, as he has told me since, to meet me 
once more by accident, and then he declared he would 
give me up. 

" What a set of consummate asses you are," said 

27 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Argyle to Beckford and his party ; and then quietly 
continued on the gate, whistling as before. 

" But r-e-a-1-l-y, r-e-a-1-l-y, ca-ca-cannot Tom 
She-She-She-Sheridan assist you, marquis ? " said 
the handsome Horace Beckford, in his usual stam- 
mering way. 

" A very good joke for Fred Lamb, as the case 
stands now," replied the duke, laughing : for a man 
of the world must laugh in these cases, though he 
should burst with the effort. 

" Why don't she come ? " said Sir John Shelley, 
who was one of the party. 

An odd mad -looking Frenchman, in a white coat 
and a white hat, well known about Somers-town, 
passed at this moment and observed his grace, whom 
he knew well by sight, from the other side of the 
way. He had, a short time before, attempted to 
address me when he met me walking alone, and 
inquired of me when I had last seen the Marquis of 
Lome, with whom he had often observed me walking. 
1 made him no answer. In a fit of frolic, as if every- 
body combined at this moment against the poor, dear, 
handsome Argyle, the Frenchman called, as loud as he 
could scream, from the other side of the way, "Ah! 
ah! v/tf oh! vans voila, monsieur le Cointe Drome- 
dairc" alluding thus to the duke's family name, as 
pronounced Camel. "Mais ou cat done madamc la 
Comtcsse ? " 

" I) d impudent rascal ! " said Argyle, delighted 

to vent his growing rage on somebody, and started 
across the road after the poor thin old Frenchman, 
who might have now said his prayers had not his 
spider-legs served him better than his courage. 

Fred Lamb was very angry with me for not laugh- 
ing at this story ; but the only feeling it excited in me 
was unmixed gratitude towards the duke for remem- 
bering me still, and for having borne all this ridicule 
for my sake. 

The next day Julia returned my visit ; and, before 
we parted, she had learned from my usual frankness 
28 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

every particular of my life, without leaving me one 
atom the wiser as to what related to herself. I dis- 
liked mystery so much that, but that I saw Julia's 
proceeded from the natural, extreme shyness of her 
disposition, I had by this time declined continuing 
her acquaintance. I decided however to try her 
another month, in order to give her time to become 
acquainted with me. She was certainly one of the 
best mannered women in England, not excepting 
even those of the very highest rank. Her handwriting 
and her style were both beautiful. She had the most 
delicately fair skin, and the prettiest arms, hands and 
feet, and the most graceful form, which could well be 
imagined ; but her features were not regular, nor 
their expression particularly good. She struck me 
as a woman of very violent passions, combined with 
an extremely shy and reserved disposition. 

Mr. Johnstone seldom made his appearance oft ener 
than twice a week. He came across a retired field to 
her house, though he might have got there more con- 
veniently by the roadway. I sometimes accompanied 
her, and we sat on a gate to watch his approach to 
this field. Their meetings were full of rapturous and 
romantic delight. In his absence she never received 
a single visitor, male or female, except myself; yet 
she always, when quite alone, dressed in the most 
studied and fashionable style. 

There was something dramatic about Julia. I 
often surprised her, hanging over her harp so very 
gracefully, the room so perfumed, the rays of her 
lamp so soft, that I could scarcely believe this tout 
ensemble to be the effect of chance or habit. It 
appeared arranged for the purpose like a scene in a 
play. Yet who was it to affect ? Julia never either 
received or expected company ! 

Everything went on as usual for another month or 
two ; during which time Julia and I met every day, and 
she promised shortly to make me acquainted with her 
whole history. My finances were now sinking very 
low. Everything Lord Craven had given me, whether 

29 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

in money or valuables, I had freely parted with for 
my support. " Fred Lamb," I thought, " must know 
that these resources cannot last for ever; therefore 
I am determined not to speak to him on the subject." 

I was lodging with a comical old widow, who had 
formerly been my sister Fanny's nurse when she was 
quite a child. This good lady, I believe, really did 
like me, and had already given me all the credit for 
board and lodging she could possibly afford. She 
now entered my room, and acquainted me that she 
actually had not another shilling, either to provide 
my dinner or her own. 

"Necessity hath no law,' thought I, my eyes 
brightening, and my determination being fixed in an 
instant. In ten minutes more the following letter 
was in the post-office, directed to the Marquis of 
Lome. 

u If you still desire my society, I will sup with you 
to-morrow evening, in your own house. 

" Yours, ever affectionately, 

" HARRIETT*;." 

I knew perfectly well that, on the evening I 
mentioned to his grace, Fred Lamb would be at his 
father's country house, Brockett Hall. 

The Duke's answer was brought to me by his 
groom, as soon as he had received my letter ; it ran 
thus: 

" Are you really serious ? I dare not believe it. 
Say, by my servant, that you will see me at the turn- 
pike directly, for five minutes, only to put me out 
of suspense. I will not believe anything you write 
on this subject. I want to look at your eyes while I 
hear you say yes. 

" Yours, most devotedly and impatiently, 

"LORNE." 

I went to our old place of rendezvous to meet the 
duke. How different, and how much more amiable, 
was his reception than that of Fred Lamb in Hull I 
30 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

The latter, all wild passion; the former, gentle, 
voluptuous, fearful of shocking or offending me, or 
frightening away my growing passion. In short, 
while the duke's manner was almost as timid as my 
own, the expression of his eyes and the very soft tone 
of his voice troubled my imagination, and made me 
fancy something of bliss beyond all reality. 

We agreed that he should bring a carriage to the 
old turnpike, and thence conduct me to his house. 

" If you should change your mind ! " said the duke, 
returning a few steps after we had taken leave : 
" Mais tu viendras, man ange ? Tu ne sera pas si 
cruelle ? " 

Argyle is the best Frenchman I have met with in 
England, and poor Tom Sheridan was the second 
best. 

" And you," said 1 to Argyle, " suppose you were 
to break your appointment to-night ? " 

" Would you regret it ? " Argyle inquired. " I 
won't have your answer while you are looking at 
those pretty little feet ; " he continued. " Tell me, 
dear Harriette, should you be sorry ? " 

" Yes," said I, softly, and our eyes met, only for 
an instant. Lome's gratitude was expressed merely 
by pressing my hand. 

" A ce soir done" said he, mounting his horse ; and, 
waving his hand to me, he was soon out of sight. 



31 



CHAPTER III 

I WILL not say in what particular year of his life the 
Duke of Argyle succeeded with me. Ladies scorn 
dates ! Dates make ladies nervous and stories dry. 
Be it only known then, that it was just at the end of 
his Lome shifts and his lawn shirts. It was at that 
critical period of his life, when his whole and sole 
possessions appeared to consist in three dozen of 
ragged lawn shirts, with embroidered collars, well 
fringed in his service ; a threadbare suit of snuff 
colour, a little old hat with very little binding left, 
an old horse, an old groom, an old carriage, and an 
old chateau. It was to console himself for all this 
antiquity, I suppose, that he fixed upon so very young 
a mistress as myself. Thus, after having gone through 
all the routine of sighs, vows, and rural walks, he at 
last saw' me blooming and safe in his dismal chateau 
in Argyle-street. 

A late hour in the morning blushed to find us in 
the arms of each other, as Monk Lewis or somebody 
else says ; but the morning was pale when compared 
with the red on my cheek when I, the very next day, 
acquainted Fred Lamb with my adventure ! 

Fred was absolutely dumb from astonishment, and 
half choked with rage and pride. I would not plead 
my poverty ; for I conceived that common sense and 
common humanity ought to have made this a subject 
of attention and inquiry to him. 

"You told me, he was, when he pleased, irresis- 
tible," said I. 

"Yes, yes, yes," muttered Fred Lamb, between 
his closed teeth ; " but a woman who loves a man is 
32 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

blind to the perfections of every other. No matter, 
no matter, I am glad it has happened. I wish you 
joy. I " 

" Did I ever tell you I was in love with you ? " 
said I, interrupting him. " Indeed it was your vanity 
deceived you, not I. You caused me to lose Lord 
Craven's protection, and, therefore, loving no man 
at the time, having never loved any, to you I went. 
I should have felt the affection of a sister for you, 
but that you made no sacrifices, no single attempt 
to contribute to my comfort or happiness. I will be 
the mere instrument of pleasure to no man. He 
must make a friend and companion of me, or he will 
lose me." 

Fred Lamb left me in madness and fury ; but I 
knew him selfish, and that he could dine on every 
imagined luxury, and drink his champagne, without 
a thought or care whether I had bread and cheese 
to satisfy hunger. Then who, with love, first love ! 
beating in their hearts, could think of Frederick 
Lamb ? 

I immediately changed my lodgings for a furnished 
house at the west end of the town, better calculated 
to receive rny new lover, whose passion knew no 
bounds. He often told me how much more beautiful 
I was than he had ever expected to find me. 

44 1 cannot/' he wrote to me, during a short absence 
from town, 6k I cannot, for circumstances prevent my 
being entirely yours " 1 fancied he alluded to his old 

flame, Lady W , with whom, the world said he 

had been intriguing nineteen years, " but nothing can, 
nor shall, prevent my being, for ever, your friend, &c. 
&c. &c." 

" If," thought I, " this man is not to be entirely 
mine, perhaps I shall not be entirely his." I 
could have been but this nasty Lady W des- 
troys half my illusion. He used to sit with her, in 
her box at the Opera, and wear a chain which I 
believed to be hers. He often came to me from the 
Opera, with just such a rose in his bosom as I had 

ic 33 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

seen in hers. All this was a dead bore. One night 
I plucked the rose from his breast, another time I hid 
the chain, and all this to him seemed the effect of 
pure accident : for who, with pride, and youth, and 
beauty, would admit they were jealous ? 

One night, 1 am sure he will recollect that night, 
when he thought me mad, one night I say, I could 

not endure the idea of Lady W . That night we 

were at Argyle House, and he really seemed most 
passionately fond of me. The idea suddenly crossed 
my mind that all the tenderness and passion he 
seemed to feel for me was shared between myself 
and Lady W . 

I could not bear it. 

" I shall go home," I said, suddenly. 

" Going home ! " said the duke. " Why rny dear 
little Harriette, you are walking in your sleep " ; 
and he threw on his dressing-gown, arid took hold of 
my hand. 

" I am not asleep," said I ; " but I will not stay 
here ; 1 cannot. I would rather die : " and I burst 
into tears. 

" My dear, dear Harriette," continued Argyle, in 
great alarm, "for God's sake, tell me what on earth I 
have -done to offend you ? " 

"Nothing nothing," said I, drying my tears. 
" 1 have but one favour to ask : let me alone, 
instead of persecuting me with all this show of 
tenderness." 

" Gracious God ! " said Argyle, " how you torment 
me ! If," he proceeded, after pausing, " if you have 
ceased to love me, if if you are disgusted " 

I was silent. 

" Do speak ! pray, pray ! " said he. 

His agitation astonished me. It almost stopped his 
breathing. " This man," thought I, " is either very 
nervous or he loves me just as I want to be loved." 
I had my hand on the door, to leave him. He 
took hold of me, and threw me from it with some 
violence ; locked it and snatched the key out ; took 
34 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

me in his arms and pressed me with almost savage 
violence against his breast. 

" By heavens ! " said he, " you shall not torture me 
so another moment." 

This wildness frightened me. " He is going to 
kill me," thought I. I fixed my eyes on his face, to 
try and read my doom. Our eyes met, he pushed me 
gently from him, and burst into tears. 

My jealousy was at an end, au moins pour le 
moment. 

*' I am not tired of you, dear Lome," said 1, kissing 
him eagerly. " How is it possible to be so ? Dear 
Lome, forgive me ? " 

Nothing was so bright nor so brilliant as Lome's 
smile through a tear. la short, Lome's expression of 
countenance, I say it now, when I neither esteem, nor 
love, nor like him, his expression, I say, is one of the 
finest things in nature. 

Our reconciliation was completed, in the usual way. 

The next morning, I was greatly surprised by a 
visit from my dear, lively sister Fanny, on her arrival 
from the country. Fanny was the most popular 
woman I ever met with. The most ill-natured and 
spiteful of her sex could never find it in their hearts 
to abuse one who, in their absence, warmly fought all 
their battles, whenever anybody complained of them 
where she was. 

I often asked her why she defended, in society, 
certain unamiable persons. 

** Merely because they are not here to defend 
themselves, and therefore it is two to one against 
them," said Fanny. 

Fanny, as the Marquis of Hertford uniformly 
insisted, was the most beautiful of all our family. 
He was very desirous of having her portrait painted 
by Lawrence, to place it in his own apartment. 
" That laughing dark blue eye of hers," he would say, 
"is unusually beautiful." His lordship, by the bye, 
whatever people may say of the coldness of his heart, 

85 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

entertained a real friendship for poor Fanny; and 
proved it by every kind attention to her, during her 
last illness. He was the only man she admitted into 
her room to take leave of her before she died, although 
hundreds, and those of the first rank and character, 
were sincerely desirous of doing so. I remember 
Lord Yarmouth's last visit to Brompton, where my 
poor sister died after an illness of three weeks. " Can 
I, or my cook, do anything in the world to be useful 
to her ? " said he. I repeated that it was all too late 
that she would never desire anything more, and all 
I wanted for her was plenty of Eau de Cologne to 
wash her temples with ; that being all she asked for. 
He did not send his groom for it ; but galloped to 
town himself, and was back immediately. This was 
something for Lord Yarmouth. 

But to proceed, Fanny was certainly very beautiful ; 
she had led a most retired, steady life for seven years, 
and was the mother of three children at the death of 
their father, Mr. Woodcock, to whom Fanny would 
have been married could he have obtained a divorce 
from his wife. Everybody was mad about Fanny, 
and so they had been during Mr. Woodcock's life ; 
but it was all in vain. Now there was a better 
chanc'e for them perhaps. 

Fanny and our new acquaintance Julia soon 
became sworn friends. Most people believed that 
we were three sisters. Many called us the Three 
Graces. It was a pity that there were only three 
Graces ! and that is the reason, I suppose, why my 
eldest sister Amy was cut out of this ring, and often 
surnamed one of the Furies. She was a fine dark 
woman too. Why she hated me all her life I cannot 
conceive ; nor why she invariably tried to injure me 
in the opinion of all those who liked me, 1 know not : 
but I can easily divine why she made love to my 
favourites ; for they were the handsomest she could 
find. It was Amy, my eldest sister, who had been 
the first to set us a bad example. We were all 
virtuous girls when Amy, one fine afternoon, left her 
36 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

father's house and sallied forth, like Don Quixote, in 
quest of adventures. The first person who addressed 
her was one Mr. Trench ; a certain short-sighted, 
pedantic man, whom most people know about town. 
I believe she told him that she was running away 
from her father. All I know for certain is that, 
when Fanny and I discovered her abode, we went to 
visit her, and when we asked her what on earth had 
induced her to throw herself away on an entire 
stranger whom she had never seen before, her answer 
was, " I refused him the whole of the first day ; had 
I done so the second he would have been in a fever." 

Amy was really very funny, however spitefully 
disposed towards me. To be brief with her history. 
Trench put her to school again, from motives of 
virtue and economy. From that school she eloped 
with General Maddan. 

Amy's virtue was something like the nine lives of 
a cat. 

With General Maddan she, for several years, pro- 
fessed constancy ; indeed I am not quite certain that 
she was otherwise. I never in my occasional visits saw 
anything suspicious except once, a pair of breeches ! 

It was one day when I went to call on her with my 
brother. General Maddan was not in town. She 
wanted to go to the Opera. The fit had only just 
seized her, at past nine o'clock. She begged me to 
make her brother's excuse at home as, she said, he 
must accompany her. 

u What, in those dirty boots ? " I asked. 

" I have got both dress-stockings and breeches 
upstairs, of Maddan's," replied Amy ; and I assisted 
at the boy's toilette. 

In handing him the black pair of breeches, which 
Amy had presented me with, I saw marked, in 
Indian ink, what, being in the inside, had probably 
escaped her attention. It was simply the name of 
Proby. 

" How came Lord Proby 's black small-clothes 
here ? " said I. 

87 



MEMOIRS OF HARRTETTE WILSON 

Amy snatched them out of my hand in a fury ; and 
desired me to go out of the house. An rede, she had 
often, at that time, three hundred pounds in her 
pocket at once, and poor Maddan had not a shilling. 
All this happened before I had left my home. 

At the period I now write about I believe that 
Maddan was abroad, and Amy lived in York Place, 
where she used to give gay evening parties to half the 
fashionable men in town, after the Opera. She never 
came to me but from interested motives. Sometimes 
she forced herself into my private box, or teased me 
to make her known to the Duke of Argyle. 

This year we three graces, as we were called, hired 
an opera box for the season together. Amy had 
another, near us, for herself and her host of beaux. 
Her suppers on Saturday nights were very gay. 
Julia and Fanny were always invited ; but she was 
puzzled what to do with me. If I was present, at least 
half the men were on my side of the room ; if I stayed 
away, so did all those who went only on my account. 

This difficulty became a real privation to such men 
as delighted in us both together. Among these was 
Luttrell ; everybody knows Luttrell ; or if they do 
not, I will tell them more about him by-and-by. 
Luttrell, I say, undertook to draw up a little agree- 
ment, stating that, since public parties ought not to 
suffer from private differences, we were thereby 
requested to engage ourselves to bow to each other 
in all societies, going through the forms of good 
breeding even with more ceremony than if we had 
liked each other, on pain of being voted public 
nuisances, and private enemies to all wit and humour. 

Signed with our hands and seals . . . 

" Now," said Fanny one day to Julia, soon after 
our first opera season had begun, " Harriette and I 
propose cutting you Mrs. Julia altogether, if you do 
not, this very evening, give us a full and true account 
of yourself, from the day you were born and the date 
thereof up to this hour." 

" No dates ! no dates 1 I pray ! " said Julia. 
38 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Well, waive dates," added I, " and begin/' 

Julia then related, in her shy, quiet way, what I 
will communicate as briefly as possible. 

Julia's real name was Storer. She was the daughter 
of the Honourable Mrs. Storer, who was one of the 
maids of honour to our present king's royal mother, 
and the sister of Lord Carysfort. 

Julia received part of her education in France, and 
finished it at the palace of Hampton Court, where 
her mother sent her on a visit to the wife of Colonel 
Cotton, who was an officer in the 10th Dragoons. 

Mrs. Cotton had a family of nine children, and very 
little fortune to support them. Julia had been, from 
her earliest youth, encouraging the most romantic 
passions which ever fired a youthful breast. With all 
this her heart, unlike mine, was as cold as her imagina- 
tion was warm. What were parents, what were friends 
to her ? What was anything on earth to love ? 

The first night Colonel Cotton danced with her 
she was mad ! In four months more she was pregnant. 
In nine months more, having concealed her situation, 
she was seized with the pangs of labour, while in the 
act of paying her respects to Her Majesty in court ! 
And all was consternation in the beau chateau de 
Hampton ! 

Mrs. Cotton, instead of sending for the accoucheur, 
with extreme propriety, though somewhat mal-apropos, 
loaded poor Julia with abuse ! 

"Have yet a little mercy," said Julia, "and send 
for assistance." 

" Never, never, you monster ! you wretch ! will I 
so disgrace your family," exclaimed Mrs. Cotton. 

Poor Julia's sufferings were short, but dreadfully 
severe. In about five hours, unassisted, she became 
the mother of a fine boy. 

Julia could not attempt to describe the rage and 
fury either of her mother or brother. It was harsh, 
it was shocking, even as applied to the most hardened 
sinner, in such a state of mental and bodily suffering. 
Julia was, with her infant, by her noble relatives 

39 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

hurried (into the country, almost at the risk of her 
life, and Colonel Cotton was called out by young 
Storer, Julia's brother, and, I believe, wounded. 

From her retirement, Julia had contrived to write 
to Colonel Cotton, by means of Colonel Thomas, to 
declare to him that, if they were to meet no more, 
she would immediately destroy herself. In short, 
Cotton was raving mad for Julia, and Julia was wild 
for Cotton le moyen de les separer ? 

A very retired cottage near town was hired by 
Cotton for Julia, who inherited a small fortune over 
which her parents had no control ; and on that she 
had supported herself in the closest retirement for 
more than eight years, when I accidentally became 
acquainted with her. Cotton was dismissed from his 
regiment by his royal commander. 

I never saw such romantic people, after nine years 
and five children ! 

" Julia ! adored Julia ! " so he would write to her, 
" if you love but as I do, we shall, to-morrow at eight 
in the evening, enjoy another hour of perfect bliss ! 
Julia ! angel Julia ! my certain death would be the 
consequence of your inconstancy, &c. &c. v 

Julia used to show me these rhapsodies from 
Cotton, at which I always laughed heartily, and thus 
I used to put her in a passion continually. 

At the opera 1 learned to be a complete flirt ; for 

there I saw Argyle incessantly with Lady W , 

and there it became incumbent on me either to laugh 
or cry. 1 let him see me flirt and look tender on 
Lord Burghersh one night on purpose, and the next 
day, when we three graces met him in the park, I 
placed in his hand a letter, which he was hastily con- 
cealing in his pocket with a look of gratified vanity, 
believing no doubt that it was one of my soft effusions 
on the beauty of his eyes. 

" For the post," said I, nodding as we were turning 
to leave him, and we all three burst into a loud laugh 
together. 

The letter was addressed to Lord Burghersh, 
40 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

merely to tell him to join us at Amy's after the next 
opera. 

The next opera was unusually brilliant. Amy's 
box was close to ours, and almost as soon as we were 
seated she entered, dressed in the foreign style, which 
became her, accompanied by Counts Woronzow, 
BeckendorfF and Orloff. Beckendorf was half mad 
for her and wanted to marry her with his left hand. 

"Why not with the right ? " said Amy. 

" I dare not," answered Beckendorff, " without the 
consent of the Emperor of Russia." 

Amy had desired him to go to Russia and obtain 
this consent from the Emperor more than a month 
before ; but still he lingered ! 

Our box was soon so crowded that I was obliged 
to turn one out as fast as a new face appeared. 
Julia and Fanny left me, to pay a visit to]the " enemy," 
as Luttrell used to call Amy. Observing me for an 
instant alone, the Duke of Devonshire came into my 
box, believing that he did me honour. 

" Duke," said I, " you cut me in Piccadilly to-day." 

" Don't you know," said thickhead, " don't you 
know, Belle Harriette, that I am blind as well as deaf, 
and a little absent too ? " 

" My good young man," said I, out of all patience, 
"attez done a ThApital des invalides: for really, if 
God has made you blind and deaf, you must be 
absolutely insufferable when you presume to be 
absent too. The least you can do, as a blind, deaf man, 
is surely to pay attention to those who address you." 

" I never heard anything half so severe as la belle 
Harriett c? drawled out the duke. 

Luttrell now peeped his nose into my box, and 
said, dragging in his better half, half-brother I mean, 
fat Nugent, "A vacancy for two! How happens 
this ? You'll lose your character, Harriette." 

" I'm growing stupid, from sympathy, I suppose," 
I observed, glancing at his grace, who, being as deaf 
as a post, poor fellow, bowed to me for the supposed 
compliment. 

41 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" You sup with Amy, I hope ? " said I to Luttrell. 
" And you ? " turning to Nugent. 

" There's a princess in the way," replied Nugent, 
alluding to the late Queen. 

" Nonsense," said Luttrell, " Her Royal Highness 
has allowed me to be off." 

" You can take liberties with her," Nugent re- 
marked. " You great wits can do what you please. 
She would take it very ill of me ; besides, I wish 
Amy would send some of those dirty Russians away. 
Count Orloff is the greatest beast in nature." 

Lord Alvanly now entered my box. 

" Place pour un" said I, taking hold of the back ot 
the Duke of Devonshire's chair. 

"I am going," said his grace; "but seriously, 
Harriette, I want to accomplish dining alone some 
evening, on purpose to pay you a visit." 

" There will be no harm in that," said I. 

" None ! None ! " answered Luttrell, who took my 
allusion. 

Alvanly brought me a tall, well-dressed foreigner, 
whom he was waiting to present to me as " his friend." 

" That won't do, Lord Alvanly," said I ; " really, 
that is no introduction, and less recommendation. 
Name your friend, or away with him." 

" Mafoi, madamc" said the foreigner, " un nom ne 
fait rien du tout. Vous me voycz la, viadame, lionnete 
homing de cinq pieds et neuf pouces" 

" Madame cst persuade de vox cinq pieds, mais elle 
nest pas si sure de vos wenf 'ponces" Alvanly observed. 

" Adieu, ma belle Harriette" said the duke, at 
last taking my hint and rising to depart. 

Julia and Fanny now returned : the latter as usual 
was delighted to meet Alvanly. 

" Do you come from the ( enemy * ? " Luttrell 
inquired of them. 

" Yes," replied Fanny, laughing. 

" My dear Fanny," said Luttrell, in his comical, 
earnest, methodistical manner, " my dear Fanny, this 
will never do ! " 
42 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" What won't do ? " inquired Fanny. 

" These Russians, my dear." 

"She has got a little Portuguese, besides the 
Russians, coming to her to-night," said I ; " the 
Count Palmella." 

" The ambassador ? " Nugent asked. 

" God bless my soul ! " said Luttrell, looking up to 
the ceiling with such a face ! Tom Sheridan would 
have liked to have copied it, when he played the 
methodist in a tub, at Mrs. Beaumont's masquerade. 

"They are only all brought up upon trial," I 
observed ; " she will cut the rest as soon as she has 
fixed on one of them." 

(t Yes ; but you see, coming after these Cossacks is 
the devil ! " lisped Alvanly, with his usual comical 
expression. " God bless your soul, we have no chance 
after these fellows." 

"There is Argyle looking at you, from Lady 
W 's box," Nugent said. 

The remark put me out of humour, although I did 
observe that, though he sat in her ladyship's box, he 
was thinking most of me. Neverthless it was 
abominably provoking. 

Lord Frederick Bentinck next paid me his usual 
visit. 

"Everybody is talking about you," said his lord- 
ship. " Two men, downstairs, have been laying a bet 
that you are Lady Tavistock. Mrs. Orby Hunter 
says you are the handsomest woman in the house." 

Poor Julia, all this time, did not receive the 
slightest compliment or attention from anybody. 
At last she kissed her hand to some one in a 
neighbouring box. 

" Whom are you bowing to ?" I inquired. 

" An old flame of mine, who was violently in love 
with me when I was a girl at Hampton Court," 
whispered Julia. " I have never seen him since I 
knew Cotton." 

" What is his name ? " I asked. 

" George Brummell," answered Julia. 

43 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

I had never, at that time, heard of George 
Brummell. 

" Do you know a Mr, George Brummell ? " said I 
to Lord Alvanly. 

Before his lordship could answer my question, 
Brummell entered the box ; and, addressing himself 
to Julia, expressed his surprise, joy and astonishment 
at meeting with her. 

Julia was now all smiles and sweetness. Just 
before BrummeH's arrival she was growing a little 
sulky. Indeed she had reason, for in vain did we cry 
her up and puff her off, as Lord Carysfort's niece, or 
as an accomplished, elegant, charming creature, 
daughter of a maid of honour : she did not take. 
The men were so rude as often to suffer her to 
follow us by herself, without offering their arms to 
conduct her to the carriage. She was, in fact, so 
reserved, so shy, and so short-sighted, that, not being 
very young, nobody would be at the trouble of finding 
out what she was. 

In the round room we held separate levees. Amy 
always fixed herself near enough to me to see what I 
was about, and try to charm away some of my admirers. 
Heaven knows Fanny and I had plenty to spare her, 
for they did so flock about us they scarcely left us 
breathing room. Argyle looked as if he wanted to 
join us, but was afraid of Lady W . 

" Are you not going home, pretty ? " he would 
say to me, between his teeth, passing close to my ear. 

" Do speak louder, marquis," 1 answered, provoked 
that he should be afraid of any woman but myself. 
" 1 am not going home these three hours. I am 
going first to Amy's party." 

Lome looked, not sulky, nor cross, as Fred Lamb 
would have done ; but smiled beautifully, and said : 
" At three, then, may 1 go to you ? " 

" Yes," answered I, putting my hand into his, and 
again I contrived to forget Lady W . 

There was all the world at Amy's, and not half 
room enough for them. Some were in the passage 
44 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

and some in the parlour, and in the drawing-room one 
could scarcely breathe. At the top of it, Amy sat 
coquetting with her tall Russians. The poor Count 
Palmella stood gazing on her at an humble distance. 

The little delicate, weak, gentlemanlike Portuguese 
was no match for the three Cossacks. I do not 
believe he got in a single word the whole evening ; 
but once, when Amy remarked that she should go 
the next evening to see the tragedy of Omco. 

" What tragedy is that, pray ? " drawled out the 
Honourable John William Ward, starting from a fit 
of the dismals, just as if some one had gone behind 
him and, with a flapper, reminded him that he was 
at a party, and ought tofairc Paimable aux dames. 

66 You may laugh at me as much as you please," 
answered Amy, u and I must have patience and 
bear it, ight or ong; for I cannot pronounce the 
letter r." 

" How very odd ! " I remarked. " Why, you 
could pronounce it well enough at home 1 " 1 really 
did not mean this to tease her ; for I thought, perhaps, 
lisping might grow upon us as we got older ; but I 
soon guessed it was all sham, by the gathering storm 
on Amy's countenance. The struggle between the 
wish to show off effeminate softness to her lovers, 
and her ardent desire to knock me down, I could see 
by an arch glance at me, from Fanny's laughing eye 
and a shrug of her shoulder, was understood by that 
sister as well as by myself. Fanny's glance was the 
slyest thing in nature, and was given in perfect fear 
and trembling. 

" Harriett's correctness may be, I am sorry to say," 
and she paused to endeavour to twist her upper lip, 
trembling with fury, into the shape and form of what 
might be most pure and innocent in virtuous indigna- 
tion ! 

Count Beckendorff eyed me with a look of pity and 
noble contempt, and then fixed his eyes with rapture 
on his angel's face ! 

Joking apart he was a monstrous fool, that same 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Count Beckendorff, in the shape of a very handsome 
young Cossack. 

" Where's the treaty of peace ? " said Nugent, 
dreading a rupture, which should deaden halt the 
spirit of the little pleasant suppers he wished to give 
us at his own rooms in the Albany. "No infringe- 
ment, we beg, ladies. We have the treaty, under 
your pretty hands and seals." 

" Peace be to France, if France, in peace, permit 
it ! " said I, holding out my hand to Amy in burlesque 
majesty. 

Amy could not, for the life of her, laugh with the 
rest ; because she saw that they thought me pleasant. 
She, however, put out her hand hastily, to have done 
with w r hat was bringing me into notice : and, that the 
subject might be entirely changed, and 1 as much for- 
gotten, she must waltz that instant with BeckendorfF. 

" Sydenham ! " said Amy, to one of her new 
admirers, who, being flute-mad and a beautiful flute- 
player was always ready. 

" The flute does not mark the time enough for 
waltzing," said he, taking it out of a drawer ; " but I 
shall be happy to accompany Harriette's waltz on the 
pianoforte, because she always plays in good time." 

"Do not play, Harriette," said Amy; for fear it 
should strike any one that I played well ; " if 1 had 
wished her to be troubled 1 should have asked her 
myself. The flute is quite enough ; " and she began 
twirling her tall Cossack round the room. He 
appeared charmed to obey her commands and sport 
his really graceful waltzing. 

" I do not think it a trouble, in the least," I observed, 
opening the instrument, without malice or vanity. 
I was never vain of music ; and, at that early age, 
so much envy never entered my head. I hated play- 
ing too ; but fancied that I was civil, in catching up 
the air and accompanying Colonel Sydenham. 

" Harriette puts me out," said Amy, stopping, and 
she refused to stand up again, in spite of all Sydenham 
could say about my very excellent ear for music. 
46 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Madame a done le projet d'aller d Drury-Lane, 
domain?" said the Count Palmella at last, having 
been waiting, with his mouth open, ever since Amy 
mentioned Omeo, for an opportunity of following up 
the subject. 

Amy darted her bright black eyes upon him, as 
though she had said, "Ah! te voilaf doii vicns tu?" 
but without answering him or perhaps understanding 
what he said. 

" Si madame me permettera" continued the count, 
"faurai Ihonneur de lui engager une loge" 

66 Old sil vous plait, je vous en serai oblige** said 
Amy, though in somewhat worse French. 

The celebrated beau, George Brummell, who had 
been presented to Amy by Julia in the round room 
at the opera, now entered and put poor Julia in high 
spirits. Brummel], as Julia always declared, was, 
when in the 10th Dragoons, a very handsome young 
man. However that might have been, nobody could 
have mistaken him for anything like handsome at the 
moment she presented him to us. Julia assured me 
that he had, by some accident, broken the bridge of 
his nose, and which said broken bridge had lost him 
a lady and her fortune of twenty thousand pounds. 
This, from the extreme flatness of it, his nose, I 
mean, not the fortune, appeared probable. 

He was extremely fair, and the expression of his 
countenance far from disagreeable. His person too 
was rather good ; nor could anybody find fault with 
the taste of all those who for years had made it a rule 
to copy the cut of Brummell's coat, the shape of his 
hat, or the tie of his neckcloth : for all this was in the 
very best possible style. 

" No perfumes," Brummell used to say, " but very 
fine linen, plenty of it, and country washing." 

" If John Bull turns round to look after you, you 
are not well dressed : but either too stiff, too tight, or 
too fashionable." 

" Do not ride in ladies' gloves ; particularly with 
leather breeches." 

47 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

In short, his maxims on dress were excellent. 
Besides this, he was neither uneducated nor deficient. 
He possessed also a sort of quaint, dry humour, not 
amounting to anything like wit; indeed, he said 
nothing which would bear repetition ; but his affected 
manners and little absurdities amused for the moment. 
Then it became the fashion to court Brummell's 
society, which was enough to make many seek it 
who cared not for it ; and many more wished to be 
well with him through fear, for all knew him to be 
cold, heartless, and satirical. 

It appeared plain and evident to me that his atten- 
tion to Julia was no longer the effect of love. Piqued 
at the idea of having been refused marriage by a 
woman with whom Cotton had so easily succeeded, 
sans cercmonie, he determined in his own mind soon 
to be even with his late brother officer. 

And pray, madam, the reader may ask ; how came 
you to be thus early acquainted with George Brum- 
mell's inmost soul ? 

A mere guess. I will tell you why. 

Brummell talked to Julia while he looked at me ; 
and as soon as he could manage it with decency, he 
contrived to place himself by my side. 

" What do you think of Colonel Cotton ? " said he, 
when I mentioned Julia. 

" A very fine dark man," I answered, " though not 
at all to my taste, for I never admire dark men." 

" No man in England stinks like Cotton," said 
Brummell. 

" Ah ! ah ! " thought I, " me voild an fait ! " 

" A little Eau de Portugal would do no harm in 
that quarter, at all events," I remarked laughing, 
while alluding to his dislike of perfumery. 

Amy gave us merely a tray-supper in one corner 
of the drawing-room, with plenty of champagne and 
claret. Brummell, in his zeal for cold chicken, soon 
appeared to forget everybody in the room. A loud 
discordant laugh from the Honourable John Ward, 
who was addressing something to Luttrell at the 
48 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

other end of the table, led me to understand that he 
had just, in his own opinion, said a very good thing ; 
yet I saw his corner of the room full of serious 
faces. 

" Do you keep a valet, sir ? " said I. 

" I believe I have a rascal of that kind at home," 
said the learned, ugly scion of nobility, with disgusting 
affectation. 

" Then," I retorted, " do, in God's name, bring him 
next Saturday to stand behind your chair." 

" For what, I pray ? " 

" Merely to laugh at your jokes," I rejoined. " It 
is such hard work for you, sir, who have both to cut 
the jokes and to laugh at them too ! " 

" Do pray show him up, there's a dear creature, 
whenever you have an opportunity," whispered 
Brummell in my ear, with his mouth full of chicken. 

" Is he not an odious little monster of ill-nature, 
take him altogether ? " I asked. 

" And look at that tie ? " said Brummell, shrugging 
up his shoulders and fixing his eyes on Ward's neck- 
cloth. 

Ward was so frightened at this commencement of 
hostilities from me, that he immediately began to pay 
his court to me, and engaged me to take a drive with 
him the next morning in his curricle. 

" Go with him," whispered Brummell in my ear. 
" Keep on terms with him, on purpose to laugh at 
him." And then he turned round to Fanny, to ask 
her who her man of that morning was. 

" You allude to the gentleman I was riding with in 
the park ? " answered Fanny. 

" I know who he is," said Alvanly. " Fanny is a 
very nice girl, and I wish she would not encourage 
such people. Upon my word it is quite shocking." 

" Whom did you ride with to-day, Fanny ? " I 
inquired. 

" A d n sugar baker," said Alvanly. 

"I rode out to-day," replied Fanny, reddening, 
" with a very respectable man of large fortune." 

i D 49 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Oh yes 1 " said Alvanly, " there is a good deal of 
money to be got in the sugar line." 

" Why do not you article yourself then to a baker 
of it," I observed, " and so pay some of your debts ? " 

This was followed by a laugh, which Alvanly 
joined in with great good humour. 

" What is his name ? " inquired Luttrell. 

" Mr. John Mitchel," answered Fanny. " He 
received his education at a public school, with Lord 
Alvanly." 

"I do not recollect Mitchel," retorted Alvanly; 
" but I believe there were a good many grocers 
admitted at that time." 

Fanny liked Lord Alvanly of all things, and knew 
very little of Mr. Mitchel, except that he professed 
to be her very ardent admirer ; yet her defence of the 
absent was ever made with all the warmth and energy 
her shyness would permit. 

" Now, gentlemen," said Fanny, " have the good- 
ness to listen to the facts as they really are." 

Everybody was silent ; for everybody delighted to 
hear Fanny talk. 

" That little fat gentleman there," looking at Lord 
Alvanly, " whom you all suppose a mere idle, lazy 
man of genius, I am told studies bon mots all night 
in his bed." (A laugh.) " Further, I have been led to 
understand, that being much lower down in the class 
than Mitchel, though of the same age, his lordship in 
the year eighteen hundred and something or other 
was chosen, raised, and selected, for his civil behaviour, 
to the situation of prime and first fag to Mr. Mitchel, 
in which said department, his lordship distinguished 
himself much, by the very high polish he put upon 
Mr. J. Mitchel's boots and shoes." 

There was not a word of truth in this story, the 
mere creation of Fanny's brain ; yet still there was a 
probability about it, as they had been at school 
together, and which, added to Fanny's very pleasing, 
odd mode of expression, set the whole room in a roar 
of laughter, Alvanly was just as much amused as 
50 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

the rest ; for Fanny's humour had no real severity in 
it at any time. 

" But, Fanny, you will make a point of cutting 
this grocer, I hope ? " observed Brummell, as soon as 
the laugh had a little subsided. 

" Do pray, Fanny," said I, " cut your Mitchels. 
I vote for cutting all the grocers and valets who 
intrude themselves into good society." 

" My father was a very superior valet," Brummell 
quickly observed, " and kept his place all his life, and 
that is more than Palmerston will do," he continued, 
observing Lord Palmerston, who was in the act of 
making his bow to Amy, having just looked in on 
her from Lady Castlereagh's. 

" I don't want any of Lady Castlereagh's men," 
said Amy. " Let all those who prefer her Saturday- 
night to mine, stay with her." 

" Who on earth," said Luttrell, with his usual 
earnestness "who on earth would think of Lady 
Castlereagh when they might be here ? " 

" Why Brummell went there for an hour before he 
came here," said Alvanly. 

" Mr. Brummell had better go and pass a second 
hour with her ladyship," retorted Amy, " for we are 
really too full here." 

" I am going for one," I said, putting on my 
shawl ; for I began to think it would not do to 
neglect Argyle altogether. I made use of one of the 
Russian's carriages, to which Brummell handed me. 

" To Argyle House, I suppose ? " said Brummell, 
and then whispered in my ear, " You will be Duchess 
of Argyle, Harriette." 

I found Argyle at his door, with his key, a little 
impatient. 1 asked him why he did not go to Amy's. 

" I don't know your sister," answered his grace, 
" and I dislike what I have seen of her. She makes 
so many advances to me ! " 

I defended my sister as warmly as though she had 
really treated me with kindness, and felt at that time 
seriously angry with the duke for abusing her. 

51 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

The next morning from my window I saw Amy 
drive up to my door, in the Count Palmella's barouche. 
" She wants me to write a copy of a letter for some 
of her men," thought I, well knowing that affection 
never brought Amy to visit me. 

" Are you alone ? " asked Amy, bouncing into the 
room. 

" Yes," said I. 

"Then tell that count, downstairs, he may go 
home," addressing my servant. 

"Poor little man!" I remarked, "how terribly 
rude 1 I could not be rude to such a very timid, 
gentlemanly man as that ! " 

" Oh, he makes me sick," said Amy, " and I am 
come to consult you as to what I had better do. I 
like liberty best. If I put myself under the protection 
of anybody, I shall not be allowed to give parties and 
sit up all night ; but then I have my desk, full of long 
bills, without receipts ! " 

" I thought you were to marry Beckendorff and go 
to Russia," I observed. 

" Oh true, I have come to tell you about Becken- 
dorff. He is off for Russia this morning, to try to 
obtain the consent of the Emperor and that of his 
his own family. There was no harm in sending him 
there you know ; for I can easily change my mind 
when he comes back, if anything which I like better 
occurs. He wished George to be his aide-de-camp ; 
but George would not go." 

"Is not Beckendorff a general in the service of the 
Emperor ? " I asked. 

" Yes, yes ! but never mind Beckendorff," answered 
Amy impatiently. "I want two hundred pounds 
directly. It spoils all one's independence and one's 
consequence, to ask Englishmen for money. Palmella 
wishes to have me altogether under his protection. 
He is rich; but but I like Colonel Sydenham 
best." 

"Sydenham has no money," said I. "Palmella 
seems disposed to do a great deal for you and he is 
52 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

very gentlemanlike; therefore, if a man you must 
have, my voice is for Palmella ! " 

" Well," said Amy, " I cannot stop ! I do not 
much care. Palmella makes me sick too. It cannot 
be helped. You write me a copy directly, to say I 
consent to enter into the arrangement, as he calls it, 
which he proposed; namely, two hundred pounds a 
month paid in advance, and the use of his horses and 
carriage." This letter was soon despatched to his 
Excellency Palmella ; and Amy shortly afterwards 
took her leave. 

The next day as I was returning home from my 
solitary walk, reflections, the most despondingly 
melancholy, crowded on my mind. I thought of the 
youth 1 was passing away in passions wild and un- 
governable, and, though ever ready to sacrifice more 
than life for those 1 have loved, with real genuine 
warmth and tenderness of heart, yet 1 had perhaps 
deserved that none should hereafter remember me 
with affection ; for my actions had been regulated by 
the impulse and feelings of that heart alone, void of 
any other principle than what it had dictated, I was 
roused by a sudden tap on the shoulder from the 
coarse, red, ungloved hand of my old friend, Lord 
Frederick Bentinck. 

" My lord, I was just going to drown myself, 
therefore pray do not leave me here alone." 

" I must," said his lordship, panting, " for I have a 
great deal to do. I ought to be at the Horse Guards 
at this moment," 

" Nonsense ! But if you really can do anything, I 
wish to heaven you would put on a pair of gloves." 

" I only wish," answered his lordship, speaking loud, 
in a good-natured passion, " I only wish that you were 
compelled to listen to the sort of things I am obliged 
to attend to daily. Everybody wants promotion. No 
man will be satisfied with an answer. For my part, I 
have got into a way of writing my letters as soon as I 
have stated all that is to be said. I hate talking, many 
people expose themselves in that way, so, adio ! " 

53 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

It occurred to me as soon as his lordship had left 
me how unfortunate for his taciturn disposition was 
the meeting of Sir Murray Maxwell's friends, which 
took place some time ago, to commemorate that 
highly respected gentleman's broken pate. The 
noble lord was chosen steward of the feast and, what- 
ever might be the exposure, either in the way or lack 
of intellect, Lord Frederick must inevitably come 
forward with a maiden-speech. The said discourse 
however would, no doubt, have redounded to the 
credit and glory of his lordship's able attorney, in 
spite of the many restrictions he had received not to 
put in any break-teeth long words ; but, alas ! his 
lordship was not aware of the defect of a memory 
which had never been so exerted, and, at the very 
critical moment, after he had risen to address the 
attentive assembly, he discovered with dismay that 
he had forgotten every word of his speech. What 
was to be done ? He resolved to address them in 
detached sentences, delivered in a voice of thunder ; 
such as," my principles, gentlemen likewise observe 
my friends but I therefore being, as I say a man 
of few words, gentlemen." The intervals being filled 
up with much gesticulation, everybody advanced their 
heads and redoubled their attention, to try to hear 
what could not be heard. Those who were at a dis- 
tance said " we are too far off," and those immediately 
next to him thought themselves too near, or sus- 
pected the wine had taken an unusual effect, owing 
to the heated atmosphere of the crowded apartment. 
All resolved to secure better situations on the next 
meeting, that they might profit by so fine and affect- 
ing a discourse. 

The season for Argyle's departure from London 
for the North was now drawing very near. He often 
spoke of it with regret, and sometimes he talked 
about my accompanying him. 

" Not I, indeed ! " was my answer ; for I was an 
unsettled sort of being ; and nothing but the whole 
heart of the man I loved could settle me. 
54 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Lome had fascinated me and was the first man for 
whom I had felt the least passion ; but his age made 
him fitter to be my father than my friend and com- 
panion : and then this Lady W ! How could I 

fix my affections on a man whom I knew to be 
attached still to another woman ! Indeed, even his 
inconstancy to Lady W often disgusted me. 

" You will not accompany me to Scotland then ? " 
said the duke. 

"Nor 

" Cela, done, est decide.'' 

" Oui" 

I was getting into debt, as well as my sister Amy, 
when it so came to pass, as I have since heard say, 
that the immortal ! 

No ; that's common ; a very outlandish distinction, 
fitter for a lady in a balloon. 

The terrific *! that will do better. I have seen his 
grace in his cotton nightcap. Well then ; the terrific 
Duke of Wellington ! the wonder of the world ! 
Having six feet from the tail to the head, and but 
there is a certain technicality in the expressions of the 
gentleman at Exeter Change, when he has occasion to 
show ofFa wild beast, which it would be vanity in me to 
presume to imitate ; so leaving out his dimensions, &c. 
&c., it was even the Duke of Wellington, whose laurels, 
like those of the giant in The Vicar of Wakefield, 
had been hardly earned by the sweat of his little 
dwarf's brows, and the loss of their little legs, arms 
and eyes; who, feeling himself amorously given 
it was in summer one sultry evening, ordered 
his coachman to set him down at the White Horse 
Cellar in Piccadilly, whence he sallied forth on foot 
to No. 2 or 3 in Berkeley Street, and rapped hastily 
at the door, which was immediately opened by the 
tawdry, well-rouged housekeeper of Mrs. Porter, 
who, with a significant nod of recognition, led him 
into her mistress's boudoir and then hurried away, 
simpering, to acquaint the good Mrs. Porter with the 
arrival of one of her oldest customers. 

55 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Mrs. Porter, on entering her boudoir, bowed low ; 
but she had bowed lower still to his grace, who had 
paid but shabbily for the last bonne fortune she had 
contrived to procure him. 

" Is it not charming weather ? " said Mrs. Porter, 
by way of managing business with something like 
decency. 

" There is a beautiful girl just come out," said his 
grace, without answering her question; "a very fine 
creature ; they call her Harriette, and " 

"My lord," exclaimed Mrs. I 3 orter, interrupting 
him ; " I have had three applications this very month 
for the girl they call Harriette, and I have already 
introduced myself to her." 

This was a fact, which happened while I was in 
Somers-town, and which I have forgotten to relate. 

" It was," continued Mrs. Porter, " at the very 
earnest request of General Walpole. She is the 
wildest creature I ever saw. She did not affect 
modesty, nor appear in the least offended at my 
intrusion. Her first question was ' Is your man hand- 
some ? ' I answered, frankly, that the general was 
more than sixty years of age ; at which account she 
laughed heartily ; and then, seeming to recollect her- 
self, she said she really was over head and ears in debt ; 
and therefore must muster up courage to receive one 
visit from her antiquated admirer at my house. 

" Well ? " interrupted Wellington, half jealous, 
half disgusted. 

" Well, my lord," continued Mrs. Porter, " the 
appointment was made for eight o'clock on the 
following evening, at which hour the old general 
was punctual and fidgeted about the room over this, 
my lord, for more than three-quarters of an hour. 
At last he rung the bell violently. I answered it ; 
and he told me in a fury he would not thus be 
trifled with. I was beginning very earnest protesta- 
tions when we heard a loud rap at the street door, 
and immediately afterwards my housekeeper entered, 
to inform me that a lady whose face was covered with 
56 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

a thick black veil, had just arrived in a hackney- 
coach, and she had shown her into the best room. 

" She came then ? " inquired Wellington, impa- 
tiently, and blowing his nose. 

" You shall hear, my lord," continued Mrs. Porter. 
" The old general, in a state of perfect ecstasy, took 
me by the hand, and begged me to pardon his testy 
humour, assuring me that he had been for more than 
a year following Harriette, and therefore that this 
disappointment had been too much for his stock of 
patience. 

" I led the way to the room, where we expected to 
find Harriette. The black veil did not surprise us. 
She was too young to be expected to enter my house 
void of shame. Judge our astonishment, my lord, 
when the incognita, throwing back her veil with 
much affectation, discovered a wrinkled face, which 
had weathered at least sixty summers, aye and winters, 
too ! " 

" 4 The Lord defend me ! ' said I. 

" * Who the devil are you ? ' said the general. 

" * A charming creature," replied the hag, ' if you 
did but know me. A widow, too, dear general, very 
much at your disposal ; for my dear good man has 
been dead these thirty years.' 

" ' You are a set of ' 

" The general was interrupted by his fair incognita, 
with * Here is gallantry ! here is treatment of the 
soft sex ! No, Mr. General, not the worst of your 
insinuations shall ever make me think the less of 
myself 1 ' 

" The general, at this moment, beginning to feel a 
little ashamed, and completely furious, contrived to 
gain the street, declaring that he would never enter 
my vile house again. His fair one insisted on follow- 
ing him ; and all I could say or do would not prevent 
her. I know not what became of them both." 

"My good woman," said Wellington, without 
making any remarks on her story, "my time is 
precious. One hundred guineas are yours, and as 

57 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

much Harriette's, if you can induce her to give me 
the meeting." 

" My dear lord," said Mrs. Porter, quite subdued, 
" what would I not do to serve you ! I will pay 
Harriette a visit early to-morrow morning ; although 
my lord, to tell you the truth, I was never half so 
afraid of any woman in my life. She is so wild, and 
appears so perfectly independent, and so careless of 
her own interests and welfare, that I really do not 
know what is likely to move her." 

" Nonsense ! " said Wellington, "it is very well 
known that the Marquis of Lome is her lover." 

" Lord Lome may have gained Harriette's heart," 
said Mrs. Porter, just as if she understood the game 
of hearts ! " However," added she, " I will not give 
up the business till I have had an interview with 
Harriette." 

" And make haste about it," said Wellington 
taking up his hat, " I shall call for your answer in 
two days. In the meantime, if you have anything 
like good news to communicate, address a line to 
Thomas's Hotel, Berkeley-square." 

These two respectable friends now took leave of 
each other, as we will of the subject, pour le moment, 
au vioins. 

I rather think it must have been on the very day 
the above scene took place that Fanny, Julia, and 
myself dined together at my house, and Amy unasked 
joined us after dinner ; because she had nothing better 
to do. 

" You are welcome," said I to Amy, " so that you 
bring me no men ; but men I will not admit." 

" Why not ?" Amy inquired. 

" Why ? because I am not a coquette like you, and 
it fatigues me to death to be eternally making the 
agreeable to a set of men who might be all buried 
and nobody would miss them. Besides, I have seen 
such a man ! " 

" What manner of man have you seen ? " asked 
Fanny. 
58 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" A very god ! " retorted I. 

" Who is he ? " inquired Amy. 

" I do not know," was my answer. 

" What is his name ? " 

" I cannot tell." 

" Where did you see him ? " 

" In Sloane Street, riding on horseback, and fol- 
lowed by a large dog." 

" What a simpleton you are," observed Amy. 

" I never made myself so ridiculous about any man 
yet," I observed, " as you have done about that 
frightful, pale, William Porisonby." 

" Oh, he is indeed a most adorable heavenly 
creature," rejoined Amy, turning up her eyes in a fit 
of heroics. 

" Good gracious ! how can people be so blind," 
exclaimed I. " Why he has not a single point of 
beauty about him." 

"And what," I continued, "have you done with 
Palmella ? " 

" Oh ! " replied Amy, in some little confusion, " I 
have never seen him since." 

" Did you send the letter I wrote for you ? " 

" Yes," answered Amy. 

" And did he send you the two hundred pounds ? " 

"Directly," rejoined Amy, "with a letter full of 
professions of the deepest gratitude." 

" And where is that poor dear little man now ? " 
inquired I. 

" God knows ! " replied Amy. " I have been 
denied to him ever since. Sydenham has been telling 
me that I am too beautiful, and it would really be too 
great a sacrifice for me to throw myself away on 
Palmella." 

"Did Sydenham say your returning the two 
hundred pounds would be too great a sacrifice 
also ? " 

" No ! but I have spent it." 

It was now growing late, and we separated. 

59 



CHAPTER IV 

THE next morning my servant informed me that a 
lady desired to speak a word to me. Her name was 
Porter. 

"You are come to scold me for sending my old 
nurse to console the general ? " said I, when I entered 
the room where she was waiting. 

" Not at all, my dear, wild young lady," answered 
Mrs. Porter ; " but I am now come to inform you 
that you have made the conquest of a very fine, 
noble, unexceptionable man." 

" Delightful," said I. " Who is he ? " 

" I dare not tell you his name," interrupted Mrs. 
Porter, " but you may rest assured that he is a man 
of fashion and rank." 

" It will not do ! " reiterated I, striking my head. 
" Tell your friend that I have no money, that I do 
not know how to take care of myself, and Argyle 
takes no care of me. Tell him that nobody wants a 
real steady friend more than I do ; but I cannot 
meet a stranger as a lover. Tell him all this, if he is 
really handsome that is to say (for the stranger I had 
twice met riding down Sloane Street, accompanied 
by his large dog, had lately run often in my head), 
and let me know what he says to-morrow." 

Mrs. Porter acquiesced, and hearing a loud rap at 
my door, she hastily took her leave. 

This was Fanny. At his own earnest request, she 
had brought me the son of the rich Freeling, secretary 
to the General Post Office ; saying, " Mr. Freeling will 
allow me no rest, till I have made him known to you." 
60 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

The young man was civil and humble, and kept a 
proper distance ; and was rather a bore. In point of 
fact, at least in my humble opinion, there is no endur- 
able medium between men of the very highest fashion 
and honest tradesmen, to those who have once 
acquired a taste and habit of living with any high- 
bred people. Young Freeling was a gentleman, as 
far as grammar and eating with his fork went ; and 
Fanny proposed our going to Covent Garden together 
that evening. She wanted to show little Fanny, for 
by that appellation we distinguished her eldest 
daughter, the Harlequin farce, before she returned 
to school. 

" What is the play ? " said I. 

u Julius Ccesar" answered Freeling. 

I was pleased beyond measure at the idea of seeing 
this play. 

I had been at but three plays in my life, all 
comedies. I shall never forget the delight I expe- 
rienced in witnessing that fine scene between Brutus 
and Cassius where they quarrel, performed by John 
Kemble and Charles Young ! Were I to live to the 
age of a hundred I should not forget John Kemble's 
energetic delivery of those beautiful lines, so finely 
expressive of virtuous indignation, so rich in eloquence, 
in force and in nerve. In short I, like Mark Antony, 
being no scholar, can only speak right on, and know 
not how to praise the poet as he merits. Yet few 
perhaps among the most learned have, in their hearts, 
done more honour to some of the natural beauties of 
Shakespeare than I have. I just now alhided to this 
passage, 

What, shall one of us, 

That struck the foremost man of all this world 
But for supporting robbers ; shall we now, 
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ? 
And sell the mighty share of our large honours, 
For so much trash, as may be grasped thus ? 

Neither was Young's excellent performance of 

61 



MEMOIRS OF HARRTETTE WILSON 

Cassius lost upon me. The feeling manner in which 
he expressed these lines brought more tears into my 
eyes than any love scene, however pathetic, could 
have done : 

I that denied thee gold, will give my heart : 

Strike, as thou didst at Caesar ; for, I know, 

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better 

Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius. 

I am not sitting down here to write a book of 
quotations ; but I could not help offering my mite of 
praise to the memory of that great actor whose like- 
ness I shall never behold again on earth : and such 
was the impression Kemble made on me, that 
methinks I hear his accent in my ear, and the very 
tone of that voice, which made my heart thrill so 
long ago, while he was thus taking leave of Cassius : 

And whether we shall meet again I know not ; 
Therefore our everlasting farewell take. 
For ever, and for ever, farewell Cassius ! 
If we do meet again, why we shall smile ; 
If not, why then this parting was well made. 

I begged to be excused remaining to see the 
Harlequin farce, as it would have been impossible 
for me to have witnessed such an exhibition after 
Julius Cccsar, and I was allowed to drive home alone, 
for 1 insisted on not robbing Fanny of the protection 
of our worthy general postman. 

The next morning I received another visit from 
Mrs. Porter, who informed me that she had just had 
an interview with my new lover and had reported to 
him all I had desired her to say. 

" Since you object to meet a stranger," continued 
Mrs. Porter, " his grace desires me to say, he hopes 
you can keep a secret, and to inform you, that it is 
the Duke of Wellington who so anxiously desires to 
make your acquaintance." 

" I have heard of his grace often," said I, in a tone 
of deep disappointment : for 1 had been indulging a 
62 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

kind of hope about the stranger with the great New- 
foundland dog, with whose appearance I had been so 
unusually struck as to have sought for him every day, 
and I thought of him every hour. 

" His grace," Mrs. Porter proceeded, " only 
entreats to be allowed to make your acquaintance. 
His situation, you know, prevents the possibility of 
his getting regularly introduced to you." 

" It will never do," said I, shaking my head. 

" Be assured," said Mrs. Porter, " he is a remark- 
ably fine-looking man, and, if you are afraid of my 
house, promise to receive him in your own, at any 
hour when he may be certain to find you alone." 

"Well," thought I, with a sigh; "I suppose he 
must come. I do not understand economy, and am 
frightened to death at debts. Argyle is going to 
Scotland ; and I shall want a steady sort of friend of 
some kind, in case a bailiff should get hold of me." 

"What shall I say to his grace?" Mrs. Porter 
inquired, growing impatient. 

"Well, then," said I, "since it must be so, tell 
his grace that I will receive him to-morrow at three ; 
but mind, only as a common acquaintance ! " 

Away winged Wellington's Mercury, as an old 
woman wings it at sixty, and most punctual to my 
appointment, at three on the following day, Welling- 
ton made his appearance. He bowed first, then 
said : 

" How do you do ? " Then thanked me for having 
given him permission to call on me ; and then wanted 
to take hold of my hand. 

" Really," said I, withdrawing my hand, "for such 
a renowned hero, you have very little to say for 
yourself." 

" Beautiful creature 1 " uttered Wellington, " where 

is Lome ? " 

" Good gracious ! " said I, out of all patience at his 
stupidity ; " what come you here for, duke ? " 

" Beautiful eye, yours ! " explained Wellington. 

" Aye man 1 they are greater conquerors than ever 

63 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Wellington shall be ; but, to be serious, I understood 
you came here to try to make yourself agreeable ? " 

" What child ! do you think that I have nothing 
better to do than to make speeches to please ladies 
said Wellington. 

"Apres avoir dtpeuple la tcrre vous devezfaire to?* 
pour la repeupkr" I replied. 

" You should see me where I shine," Wellington 
observed, laughing. 

" Where's that, in God's name ? " 

" In a field of battle," answered the hero. 

" JSattez vous, done, et quun autre me fasse la 
cour ! " said I. 

But love scenes, or even love quarrels, seldom tend 
to amuse the reader, so, to be brief, what was a mere 
man, even though it were the handsome Duke of 
Argyle, to a Wellington ! 

Argyle grew jealous of Wellington's frequent visits, 
and hiding himself in his native woods wrote me the 
following very pathetic letter. 

" I am not quite sure whether I do, or do not love 
you I am afraid I did too much ; but, as long as 
you find pleasure in the society of another, and a hero 
too, I am well contented to be a mere common mortal, 
a monkey, or w r hat you will. I too have my heroines 
waiting for me in all the woods about here. Here 
are the wood-cutter's daughter and the gardener's 
maid always waiting for my gracious presence, and to 
which of them I shall throw the handkerchief I know 
not. How then can 1 remain constant to your incon- 
stant charms ? I could have been a little romantic 
about you it is true ; but I always take people as I 
find them, etjai id beaujeu. Adieu. 

" I am very fond of you still, for all this. 

This was my answer : 

" Indeed as you are as yet the only man who has 
ever had the least influence over me, therefore I 
64 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

entreat you do not forget me ! I wish I were the 
woodcutter's daughter awaiting your gracious pre- 
sence, in the woods for days ! weeks ! months ! so 
that at last you would reward me with the benevolent 
smile of peace and forgiveness, or that illumined, 
beautiful expression of more ardent feeling such as I 
have often inspired and shall remember for ever, 
come what may; and whether your fancy changes 
or mine. You say you take people as you find them ; 
therefore you must and you shall love me still, with 
all my imperfections on my foolish head, and that, 
dearly. 

" HARRIETTS." 

Wellington was now my constant visitor a most 
unentertaining one, Heaven knows ! and, in the 
evenings, when he wore his broad red ribbon, he 
looked very like a rat-catcher. 

" Do you know," said 1 to him one day, " do you 
know the world talk about hanging you ? " 

' Eh ? " said Wellington. 

" They say you will be hanged, in spite of all your 
brother Wellesley can say in your defence." 

"Ha!" said Wellington, very seriously, "what 
paper do you read ? " 

" It is the common talk of the day," I replied. 

" They must not work me in such another cam- 
paign," Wellington said, smiling, " or my weight will 
never hang me." 

" Why you look a little like the apothecary in 
Romeo already," I said. 

In my walks Brummell often joined me, and I now 
walked oftener than usual : indeed whenever I could 
make anybody walk with me ; because I wanted to 
meet the man with his Newfoundland dog, who was 
not the sort of man either that generally strikes the 
fancy of a very young female ; for he was neither 
young nor at all gaily drest. No doubt he was 
very handsome; but it was that pale expressive 
beauty, which oftener steals upon us by degrees, after 

IE 65 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

having become acquainted, than strikes us at first 
sight. 

I had of late frequently met him, and he always 
turned his head back after he had passed me ; but 
whether he admired, or had indeed observed me, or 
whether he only looked back after his large dog, was 
what puzzled and tormented me. " Better to have 
been merely observed by that fine noble-looking 
being, than adored by all the men on earth besides," 
thought I, being now at the very tip-top of my 
heroics. 

Dean Swift mentions having seen, in the grand 
academy of Lagado, an ingenious architect, who had 
contrived a new method of building houses, by 
beginning at the roof and working downwards to the 
foundation ; and which he justified by the like prac- 
tice of those two prudent insects the bee and the 
spider. The operation of my love then was after the 
model of this architect. The airy foundation on 
which I built my castles caused them ever to descend. 
Once in my life, when I raised my air-built fabric 
unusually high, it fell with such a dead weight on my 
heart, that the very vital spark of existence was nearly 
destroyed. I have never enjoyed one hour's health 
since. Now, however, 1 look on all my past bitter 
suffering, caused by this same love, which many treat 
as a plaything and a child, and which I believe to be 
one of the most arbitrary, ungovernable passions in 
nature, as a wild dream, remembered by me merely 
as I recollect three days of delirium, by which I was 
afflicted after the scarlet fever, with the idea of rats 
and mice running over my head, and which thus kept 
me in a frenzy, from the mere working of a disordered 
brain. 

Characters and feelings, unnaturally stretched on 
the sentimental bed of torture, must return with 
violence to their natural tone and dimensions, says a 
celebrated French writer. The idol of romantic 
passion, in some unlucky moment of common sense 
or common life, is discovered to be the last thing 
66 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

their worshippers would wish the idol to be found 
a mere human being ! with passions, and infirmities, 
and wants, utterly unprovided for by the statutes of 
romance. Soon, we find too, a certain falling off in 
our own powers of human life, a subjection to common 
accidents, to ill health, and to indigence, which sicklies 
o'er the rich colouring of passion with the pale cast of 
humanity. 

But to proceed if, in my frequent walks about 
Sloane Street and Hyde Park, I failed to meet the 
stranger, whose whole appearance had so affected my 
imagination, I was sure to see George Brummell, 
whose foolish professions of love I could not repeat, 
for 1 scarcely heard them. One day, just as I was 
going to sit down to dinner with Fanny and Amy, 
who was passing the evening with her, I felt a kind 
of presentiment come over me, that, if I went into 
Hyde Park at that moment, I should meet this 
stranger. It was past six o'clock. 1 had never 
seen him but at that hour. They both declared 
that 1 was rnad, and Lord Alvanly calling on Fanny 
at that moment, they retailed my folly to his 
lordship. 

" I dare say he is some dog-fancier, or whipper-in, 
or something of the sort," said Alvanly. " God bless 
my soul ! I thought you had more sense. What 
does Argyle say to all this ? " 

Lord Lowther now entered the room. 

" How very rude you all are," said Fanny. " I 
have told you frequently that this is my dinner-hour, 
and you never attend to it ! " 

" It is those d nan grocers, the Mitchels," said 
Alvanly, "who have taught you to dine at these 
hours ! Who the d 1 dines at six ? why I am only 
just out of bed ! " 

Lord Lowther made many civil apologies. He 
wanted to have the pleasure of engaging us three to 
dine with him on the following day, to meet the 
Marquis of Hertford, then Lord Yarmouth ; a Mr. 
Graham, the son of Sir James Graham, Bart ; Street, 

67 



MEMOIRS OF HABRIETTE WILSON 

the editor of the Courier newspaper; and J. W. 
Croker, M.P. of the Admiralty. 

We accepted the invitation, and Lord Lowther, 
after begging us not to be later than half-past seven, 
took his leave. 

Alvanly accompanied me as far as Hyde Park, 
laughing at me and my man and his dog all the way. 
The park was now entirely empty nothing like a 
hero, nor even a dog to be seen. 

" I must now wish you good morning," said 
Alvanly. " I am not going to be groom," he added 
in my ear. 

I shook hands with him, without at all understand- 
ing what he meant, and walked down towards that 
side of the river where I had once or twice seen the 
stranger coaxing his dog to swim by throwing stones 
into the water. 

If I could but once see him walking with any man 
I had ever met before, then at least 1 should have a 
chance of learning his name. I continued to wander 
up and down the river for nearly an hour. As I was 
returning home disappointed as usual, I met an elderly 
gentleman, whose name I forget, though we had 
often seen each other in society. He stopped to 
converse with me on common subjects for a few 
minutes and, just as he had taken his leave, and was 
slowly walking his horse away, a very clean, aged 
woman came up to me and begged assistance. Her 
manners were unlike these of a common beggar. She 
smiled on me, and looked as if she would have been 
nearly as much pleased by a few kind words as with 
money. 

I always liked very old people when they were 
clean and appeared respectable, and I was unusually 
interested by this woman's demeanour. I eagerly 
searched my reticule. Alas ! it was empty. I 
turned a wistful eye towards the old gentleman who 
had left me. His prim seat on horseback struck me 
altogether as too formidable. " If I knew him a little 
better," thought I, hesitating, as I saw him stop to 
68 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

speak to his groom. He turned his harsh-looking 
countenance at that moment towards me. " It will 
never do," thought I, and then I expressed my sincere 
regret to the poor old woman that I had nothing to 
give her. 

" Never mind," replied the good old creature, smil- 
ing very kindly on me, " never mind, my dear young 
lady. Many, I bless God, are more in want than I 
am." 

" Wait here a minute," said I. 

My desire to assist her now overcoming my repug- 
nance, I ran as fast as I possibly could after the old 
gentleman, who was disappearing, and quite out of 
breath, and in the deepest confusion told him I had 
forgotten my purse, and had occasion for half a crown, 
which I hoped he would lend me. 

" Certainly, with pleasure," said the old gentleman, 
drawing out his purse and presenting me with what I 
had asked for. 

I made him many confused apologies ; and turning 
hastily towards some trees, which led by rather a 
shorter road to where I had left the old woman, I 
came immediately in close contact with the stranger, 
whose person had been concealed by two large elms 
and who might have been observing me for some 
time. I scarcely dared encourage the flattering idea. 
It made me wild ; and yet, why should such a noble, 
fashionable-looking man have pulled up his horse, 
between two trees, where there was nothing else to 
be seen ? 

After all, I was only encouraging the most absurd 
vanity, contrary to common sense. Might he not be 
watching his dog ? Did he ever look at me ? I know 
not ! After passing days and days in looking for 
him, his sudden appearance caused such a tremulous- 
ness to come over me that I wanted courage, once, to 
raise my eyes to his face ; so that I rather felt than 
knew 1 was near him, whom now I passed as quickly 
as my extreme agitation would permit, and soon 
came up with the old woman, and presenting the 

69 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

half-crown and my card desired her to call and 
see me. 

The poor old nervous creature shed tears of grati- 
tude, called me a dear, sweet young lady, assured me 
that she had kept a respectable inn for thirty years at 
Glasgow, which from her language I was inclined to 
believe, and then took her leave. 

I now ventured to turn my head back, believing 
myself at a safe distance from the stranger. He had 
quitted his hiding-place, and was slowly walking his 
very fine horse towards me. " There he is," thought 
I. "No one is near us, and yet, in another minute 
or two he will have passed me, and be perhaps lost to 
me for ever." I began to muster all the energies of 
my character, generally fertile in resources, to consider 
of a remedy for this coming evil. "If any man could 
be bribed to follow him slyly ! " thought I, hastily 
looking about me. The stranger drew nearer. Alas ! 
he will have passed me for ever perhaps in another 
instant. Surely I might have said, with King 
Richard, 

A horse ! a horse ! my kingdom for a horse ! 

since, without one, who could follow the stranger ? 
I heard the sound of his horse's feet close behind me. 
" I will fix my eyes upon his face this time, to ascer- 
tain if he looks at me," said I to myself with a sudden 
effort of desperate resolution ; which I put in practice 
the next moment. I thought our eyes met, and that 
the stranger blushed ; but his were so immediately 
withdrawn from my face, that I went home, still in 
doubt whether he had or had not taken sufficient 
notice of me even to know me again by sight. 

I related this adventure to Fanny on my return. 
She gave me some dinner, and advised me, with 
friendly seriousness, not to make such a fool of myself 
about a man I had never spoken to, and who after 
all might turn out to be vulgar, or ill-mannered, or 
of bad character. 

" True," answered I, " and I shall be glad to learn 
70 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

that this man is either of those, for vulgarity will 
make me heart-whole again in an instant In short, 
at any rate, I look for my cure in a future knowledge 
of this man's character. Nothing is perfect under 
the sun; and rank, talents, wit, beauty, character, 
manners, all must combine in that human being who 
shall ever make me die of a broken heart. Therefore 
1 am safe." 

" I had not an idea that you were such a simpleton, 
or half so sentimental," retorted Fanny. " I wonder 
if I should admire the man 1 " 

" We will try and meet him together," I replied ; 
" but enough of a subject which begins to make me 
melancholy as though he were my fate ! How many 
fine, elegant-looking young men have I not met about 
the streets and at the opera, without their making the 
slightest impression on me. And what do I know of 
this man beyond mere beauty of countenance ! yet I 
think, if I could but touch with my hand the horse 
he rode, or the dog he seems so fond of, I should be 
half wild with joy." 

" What incredible nonsense, my dear Harriette," 
said Fanny. 

"But true, upon my word," I replied, "and I 
cannot help myself." 

Fanny shook her head at me, and I left her, to 
dream of the stranger. 



71 



CHAPTER V 

BY a little before eight on the following evening, the 
party I have before mentioned all sat down to 
dinner at Lord Lowther's in Pall Mall. Lord Yar- 
mouth was at the bottom of the table, opposite to 
Lord Lowther ; Amy, on Lowther's right hand, 
Fanny at his left ; Street, the editor, was her neigh- 
bour ; and I sat next to Croker. Poor Julia had 
not been invited. Lord Hertford, who at his own 
table is always particularly entertaining, was a little 
out of sorts here, which generally happened to him 
when he dined with Lowther, who gave a very bad 
dinner. 

Lord Hertford very candidly owns that he dislikes 
a bad dinner ; and I had heard him own it so often 
to Lord Lowther, that I was surprised his lordship 
invited him at all, unless he had thought proper to 
have provided a good one. 

The claret, Lowther said, he wanted Lord Hert- 
ford's opinion about, having just provided himself 
with a large quantity of it, in consequence of its 
quality having been strongly recommended to him. 

Our first glass had scarcely gone round, when Lord 
Hertford said, in his uusal, loud, odd voice, address- 
ing Lowther, " You asked me for my opinion, and I 
will give it you ; your claret is not worth a d n." 

Poor Lowther looked a little annoyed. 

Croker fought on his side. " I must differ in 
opinion with you, Lord Hertford," said he, in his 
starched pragmatical manner: " I think the claret 
excellent." 
72 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" With all my heart," said Hertford, in a tone and 
manner of the most perfect indifference. 

" How is your poetical doctor ? " Lowther asked 
me; alluding to my physician, Doctor Nevinson, 
who, during a serious illness in which he had attended 
me, had been kind enough to sing my praise in his 
best rhymes. 

I was very earnest in my commendations of that 
gentleman, believing myself under some obligations 
to him. 

" These doctors are lucky fellows," Croker observed, 
affectedly. 

" Not always," said I. " I have here a few lines, 
poor old Eliot of the Audit Office made at my house 
this morning, on Dr. Nevinson's hard case;" and I 
put into his hand a small bit of paper which was in 
my reticule. 

" What flirtation is going on there, pray, between 
you two ? " inquired Street, who observed me. 

66 Nothing," I replied, " but a few bad rhymes about 
Dr. Nevinson." 

" Read ! read ! " exclaimed they all. 

Between Lord Lowther's scanty courses there was 
ever room for reflection, even to madness. 

Mr. Secretary Croker read, as follows : 

THE PHYSICIAN'S PRAYER TO jEouis. 

God of the winds, oh ! grant my prayer, 

And end this solemn frolic ; 
Or, when I next attend the fair, 

Defend them from the cholic. 

But if thy brother of the bow 

To physic bind me fast, 
Grant that the old from me may go, 

For cure, to Dr. Last ! 

Release me from the dry concern 

Of listening to their moaning, 
And from your votary ever turn 

Old dames with cholic groaning ! 

73 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

For patients, oh, to me impart 

The gay, the young, the witty ; 
Such as may interest the heart. 

This prayer, oh grant, in pity ! 

" Allow me to look at them," said Street, as soon 
as Croker had finished reading. 

" I think Eliot clever," said Hertford. " What has 
become of him ? " 

" Oh," replied Amy, " 1 believe he is going to die 
he has grown so very dull and heavy. Do you know, 
I told him a very interesting story one day last week, 
and he did not at all listen to it ; and before I had 
finished repeating it a second time he fell fast asleep." 

"Poor fellow!" said Street: he could not stand 
the second edition. 

Mr. Graham sat on my left hand, and was as atten- 
tive to me as possible. Graham was a beauty ; a 
very Apollo in form, with handsome features, parti- 
cularly his teeth and eyes; sensible too, and well 
educated. 

" I brought you two together, because I knew you 
would fall in love with each other," said Lowther. 

V How impossible," thought I, as the stranger in 
Hyde Park, as I last saw him, or fancied I saw him 
blush, crossed my mind. I was not disposed to admire 
anything else, indeed; but I rather think Graham 
was pedantic. 

He spoke to me a good deal of Fred Lamb, with 
whom he had been travelling on the Continent. 

" Fred Lamb has often been jealous of me," said 
Graham ; " but he would be jealous of any man ; yet 
I have always liked Fred much better than ever he 
liked me." 

"His passion for women is so very violent," I 
observed, " that somehow or other, it disgusted me." 

"All ladies are not so refined," replied Graham, 
laughing. 

" Perhaps not," answered I ; " perhaps I may not 
be so refined when I like my man better." 
74 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Street was all this time making hard love to Fanny. 
Poor Street though a very pleasant man, is, as he 
knows, a very ugly one. Fanny's extreme good 
nature was always a Refuge for the Destitute. If 
ever there was a lame, a deaf, a blind, or an ugly 
man, in our society, Fanny invariably made up to 
that man immediately, to put him in countenance. 
Nay, she would, I believe, have made up to the Duke 
of Devonshire, blind, deaf, absent and all, had he 
fallen in her way. 

At this moment, my ear caught the word cruel, 
as applied to Fanny by Street. 

" Quite the reverse, Fanny is all goodness," I 
exclaimed. 

" Yes," rejoined Street, " as far as words go." 

" It is you, Mr. Street, who cruelly neglect me, on 
the contrary," said Fanny, laughing. 

" Never ! " answered Street, laying his hand on his 
heart 

" Then why did you not call at the oilshop ? " 
Fanny asked ; alluding to the place where she had 
formerly been lodging for a short time in Park Street, 
and to which she had invited Street. 

" Wounded pride ! " observed Street. 

" She would have poured oil into your wounds," 
said Lord Hertford. 

" I'll thank you to pass me another bottle of this 
bad claret," squeaked out Croker ; " for 1 must be 
candid enough to say that I like it much." 

" I wont abuse it again," Lord Hertford observed, 
" for fear you should get drunk." 

I now grew tired of waiting for Amy to make a 
first move, and began to think she was ill disposed in 
the humility of her heart to take upon her the privilege 
of eldest sister : so I made it for her and we retired 
to Lowther's drawing-room, from which we took a 
peep into his dressing-room, where we found a set of 
vile, dirty combs, brushes, towels, and dressing- 
gowns. Lowther, who always has a pain in his liver, 
and knows not how to take kindly to his bottle, 

75 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

entered his apartment, just as we were loudest in our 
exclamations of horror and dismay, as these said dirty 
objects offered themselves to our view. 

"For heaven's sake," said Amy, with whom Lowther 
was certainly in love, " do turn away your^ valet, and 
burn these nasty, dirty brushes and things." 

" It will be no use, I believe," replied Lowther ; 
" for every valet will copy his master." 

" What ! then," exclaimed Amy, " you admit the 
master is dirty ? " 

Lowther feared he must plead guilty. 

" I am very glad I ran away from you," retorted 
Amy, who had gone with him into the country, and 
afterwards cut him because he did not ask for a 
separate dressing-room at the inns on the road. 

The other gentlemen soon joined us in the drawing- 
room, drank their coffee, and then we were all off to 
the Opera. 

1 had the honour of taking Mr. Graham there in 
my carriage with Fanny. Amy went with Lord 
Lowther. 

We found Julia in our private box, alone and half 
asleep, dressed very elegantly ; and, in my opinion, 
looking very interesting and well. 

""What, alone ? " said I. " Why do you not make 
the men more civil ? " and I introduced her to young 
Graham. 

Julia had lately got nearly to the bottom of her 
heroics with Cotton. She was ashamed to admit the 
idea even to herself; she never would own it to me : 
but the fact was, she was tired of Cotton, and dying, 
and sighing, and longing secretly for something new. 
Young and beautiful, her passions, like those of a 
man, were violent and changeable; in addition to 
which she had lately suffered every possible indignity 
and inconvenience which debts and duns could 
inflict ; besides, Fanny and I, who knew that Mr. 
Cotton had a wife and large family at home, had 
laboured with all our hearts to disgust Julia with 
Cotton, believing that it would be for the good of 
76 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

both that they separated for ever. Cotton had not a 
shilling to spare for the support of Julia's children ; 
and Julia's accouchements took place regularly once 
in eleven months. She had often vainly applied to 
her parents, as well as to her uncle, Lord Carysfoot, 
who only wrote to load her with reproaches. 

As soon as Graham had left us, Julia expressed her 
admiration of him, in very warm terms. 

" He has no money," said Fanny ; " besides, 1 can 
see that he is making up to Harriette. Do, my dear 
Julia, consider all your beautiful children ; and, if you 
can leave Cotton to his poor wife, and must form 
another connection, let it be with some one who can 
contribute to the support of your young family." 

Julia assured us she was at that moment actually 
in expectation of being arrested ; and she entreated 
that Fanny or I would make an application to some 
of her noble relations, which she promised to do. 

This point being decided, she again talked of 
Graham's beauty, wondered where he was, and 
anxiously inquired whether I was sure that he had 
taken a fancy for me. 

" Not a bit sure," I replied. " I know nothing at 
all of the matter, neither do I care." 

Fanny then related all about my last meeting with 
my stranger and his dog to Julia, who seemed to 
understand my sensations much better than Fanny 
did. 

" Oh, mon Dieu ? " interrupted I, " there is in that 
box next to Lady Foley's, a man no, it is still hand- 
somer than my stranger ! and yet" (the stranger turned 
his head towards our side of the house) " Oh ! " con- 
tinued I, taking hold of Fanny's hand, in a fit of 
rapture, " it is he ! only his hat, till now, concealed 
that beautiful head of hair." 

" Where ? where ? " cried out they both at once. 

" Oh ! that some one would come into our box 
now and tell us who he is ! " I exclaimed. 

" How provoking you are," said Julia. " Why do 

not you point out the man to us ? " 

* * 77 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" It is that man, who is laughing. Oh ! I had no 
idea that his teeth were so very beautiful ! " 

" Dear me, how tiresome," observed Fanny, quietly. 
" If you will not tell us which is your man let us talk 
of something else." 

" He is there," replied I, " next to Lady Foley's 
box, leaning on his arm." 

Julia put her glass to her eye as usual ; being 
remarkably short-sighted she could distinguish nothing 
without it. 

" I know him," said Julia, after fixing him for some 
time. 

" Not much ? " I observed, almost breathless. 
" Did you ever speak to him ? " 

" I have met him in society, when I was a girl," 
continued Julia ; u but I was intimate with a girl, to 
whom, when young, he proposed. Her wedding 
clothes were made ; she used to sleep in my room, 
with his picture round her neck. She adored him 
beyond all that could be imagined of love and devo- 
tion, and within a few days of their proposed marriage 
he declared off. His excuse was that his father refused 
his consent." 

" For many years," continued Julia, " my friend's 
sufferings were severe ; her parents trembled for her 
reason. No one was permitted to name her former 
lover in her presence. She is now Lady Conyng- 
ham." 

" And his name ? " said I. 

u Lord Ponsonby, who is supposed to be the hand- 
somest man in England : but he must now be forty, 
if not more," replied Julia. 

"I wish he were sixty," I answered. " As it is, I 
have no chance : but indeed I never thought I had. 
He is a sort of man I think I could be wicked enough 
to say my prayers to. I could live in his happiness 
only without his knowing me. 1 could wait for hours 
near his house for the chance of seeing him pass or 
hearing his voice." 

Fanny laughed outright. 
78 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Julia only exclaimed, "'Well done, Harriette ! 
You are more romantic than ever I was at your age, 
and I thought that was impossible." 

" You did not love Lord Ponsonby," retorted I. 

" True," said Julia : "badinage apart, Ponsonby is, 
as I have always been told, very near perfection. But 
what chance can you have ? He is married to the 
loveliest creature on earth the youngest daughter of 
Lord Jersey." 

" I knew very well," sighed I despondingly, " before 
I heard of his marriage, that I should never be any- 
thing to him." 

" I will tell you where he lives," said Julia. " It 
is in Curzon Street, May Fair." 

" Well then," thought I, " at least when he passes 
me, I shall not, as yesterday, fancy I am looking at 
him for the last time." 

Upon the whole my spirits were violently elated 
this evening. Lord Ponsonby I believe did not per- 
ceive me. I was most anxious, yet afraid, to see his 
wife. 

" 1 cannot find her box," observed Julia, " else I 
should know her immediately." 

We now lost sight of his lordship for some time, 
he having left the box I first saw him in. I perceived 
him for an instant afterwards, but missed him alto- 
gether before the opera was over. 

46 1 am glad I have not seen his wife," said I, " after 
we were seated in the carriage. I hope I shall never 
see her as long as I live." 

I resolved now to make no kind of advances to 
become acquainted with Lord Ponsonby ; but on the 
very next evening I indulged myself in passing his 
house at least fifty times. I saw and examined the 
countenances of his footmen and the colour of his 
window-curtains : even the knocker of his door escaped 
not my veneration, since Lord Ponsonby must have 
touched it so often. My very nature seemed now to 
have undergone a change. I began to dislike society, 
and considered the unfortunate situation I had fallen 

79 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

into with horror ; because I fancied Lord Ponsonby 
would despise me. I often reflected whether there 
might yet be some mighty virtue in my power, some 
sacrifice of self, some exertion of energy, by which I 
might, one day, deserve to be respected, or to have 
my memory respected by Lord Ponsonby after I was 
dead. 

The fact is, I really now lived but in his sight, and 
I only met him once or twice in a week, to see him 
pass me without notice, At last I began to believe 
he really did see me in the park with pleasure, when 
by any accident late in the evening, I happened to 
be alone and the park empty. Once he rode behind 
me to my very door, and passed it, without seeming 
to look at me : the dread of being by him accused of 
boldness ever prevented my observation. 

This day, on entering my house, I mounted hastily 
up into my garret, and got upon the leads, there to 
watch if Lord Ponsonby turned back, or whether he 
had merely followed me by accident on his way some- 
where else. He rode on almost as far as I could see, 
and then turned back again, and galloped hastily by 
my door as though afraid of being observed by me. 

" Suppose he were to love me ! " thought I, and 
the idea caused my heart to beat wildly, I would 
not dwell upon it. It was ridiculous. It would only 
expose me to after-disappointment. What was 1, 
that Lord Ponsonby should think about me ? What 
could I ever be to him ? Still there was 110 reason 
which I could discover, why I might not love Lord 
Ponsonby. I was made for love, and I looked for no 
return. 1 should have liked him to have been assured 
that for the rest of his life mine was devoted to him, 
In short, though I scarcely ventured to admit it, hope 
did begin to predominate. I was young, and my 
wishes had hitherto rarely been suppressed by dis- 
appointment. 

My reflections were interrupted by my servant, 
who brought me a letter from George Brummell, full 
of nonsensical vows and professions. " When," he 
80 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

wrote, " beautiful Harriette, will you admit me into 
your house ? Why so obstinately refuse my visits ? 
Tell me, I do entreat you, when I may but throw 
myself at your feet without fear of derision from a 
public homage on the pavement, or dislocation from 
the passing hackney coaches ? " The rest I have 
forgotten. 

Wellington called on me the next morning before 
I had finished my breakfast. I tried him on every 
subject I could muster. On all, he was most im- 
penetrably taciturn. At last he started an original 
idea of his own ; actual copyright, as Stockdale would 
call it. 

" I wonder you do not get married, Harriette ! " 

(By-the-bye, ignorant people are always won- 
dering. ) 

" Why so ? " 

Wellington, however, gives no reason for anything 
unconnected with fighting, at least since the Conven- 
tion of Cintra, and he therefore again became silent. 
Another burst of attic sentiment blazed forth. 

" I was thinking of you last night, after I got into 
bed," resumed Wellington. 

" How very polite to the duchess," I observed. 
" Apropos to marriage, duke, how do you like it ? " 

Wellington, who seems to make a point of never 
answering one, continued, " I was thinking I was 
thinking that you will get into some scrape, when I 
go to Spain." 

" Nothing so serious as marriage neither, I hope ! " 

" I must come again to-morrow, to give you a little 
advice," continued Wellington. 

'* Oh, let us have it all out now, and have done 
with it." 

u I cannot," said Wellington, putting on his gloves, 
and taking a hasty leave of me. 

" I am glad he is off," thought I, " for this is indeed 
very uphill work. This is worse than Lord Craven." 

As soon as he was gone, I hastened to Curzon 
Street. The window-shutters of Lord Ponsonby's 
" I F 81 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

house were all closed. How disappointed and low- 
spirited I felt at the idea that his lordship had left 
town 1 Suspense was insufferable ; so I ventured to 
send my servant to inquire when the family were 
expected in London. 

" In about a month/' was the answer. " I must 
forget this man/' thought 1, " it is far too great a bore": 
and yet I felt that to forget him was impossible. 

Things went on in the same way for a week or two. 
Amy had closed with Mr. Sydenham's proposal, and 
changed her name to that of Mrs. Sydenham. She 
called on Fanny one morning, when her drawing- 
room was half full of beaux. 

" Beautiful Amy, how do you do ? " said Nugent, 
with that eternal smile of his ! it is so vulgar to be 
always looking joyful, and full of glee, I cannot think 
what he can mean by it. 

" Oh/' said Amy, withdrawing her hand, fct I must 
never flirt, nor have any beaux again, I must now 
lead a pure, virtuous, chaste, and proper life." 

" Who has laid such an appalling embargo on 
you ? " I asked. 

" Why, do you not know that Sydenham and I are 
become man and wife ? and that I have changed my 
name and my home for his ? " 

After wishing Mrs. Sydenham joy I took my leave. 
On reaching home 1 found young Freeling in my 
drawing-room, waiting to pay his respects to me. 

I began to think I had scarcely done this young 
man justice, he appeared so very humble, quiet and 
amiable. He blushed exceedingly when I addressed 
him, but never mind the vanity it proceeded more 
from a sort of respectful growing passion towards me, 
than, as I had at first imagined, from mauvaisc honte. 

Freeling was not fashionable, as I have said before ; 
but I must add that I believe even his enemy could 
say nothing worse of him. 

" I will not deceive you," said I to him one day, 
seeing he was inclined to follow the thing up steadily, 
under the impression perhaps that faint heart never 
82 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

won fair lady. " Some women would make use of 
your attentions, your money, and your private boxes, 
as long as possible ; but I will say this of myself, I 
know there is not much to be said in my favour, I 
never do what I feel to be ungenerous or wrong. I 
shall receive you with pleasure as a friend at any 
time ; but if you were to sit down and sigh for a 
twelvemonth, you would never get any further. No 
speeches, now ! You are an interesting young man 
whom thousands of amiable women would like, and 
life is short. L? amour ne se commande pas, perhaps 
you are going to tell me ; and my answer is, that I 
am sure it cannot long survive hope, and for you 
indeed there is none." 

Freeling blushed and looked melancholy and 
undecided. 

"Shake hands and forgive me," said I, " Allons. 
Un pen de philosophie, mon ami. Que vaut la belle, 
qui dctournc la boucke ? How ridiculous a fine, tall, 
well -looking young man like you will appear, sitting 
under one of the willow-trees, in the Green Park ! " 

Freeling smiled. 

" There now, I see it is over already," I continued, 
and changed the subject, which Freeling had the 
good sense and good taste never to renew ; and what 
is more, the good heart to take an opportunity of 
doing me a very essential service, some months 
afterwards, when I believed he had forgotten me 
altogether. 

" And pray, madam," the reader may ask, " how 
came you to be such a monster, as to call this kind, 
generous-hearted man a bore, and a general postman, 
some time ago ? " 

I do not know I am sure ; I really am very sorry 
for it now ; but then the book never will be finished, 
if I am to stop to make corrections and alterations ; 
moreover, Stockdale has run away with that part of 
my manuscript : so to proceed 

Some short time after this mighty elopement, the 
Duke of Wellington, who, 1 presume, had discovered 

83 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

the tough qualities of his heart, which contributed to 
obtain him such renown in the field of battle, pos- 
sessed no more merit for home service or ladies' uses 
than did his good digestion, betook himself again to 
the wars. He called to take a hasty leave of me a 
few hours before his departure. 

" I am off for Spain directly," said Wellington. 

I know not how it was but I grew melancholy. 
Wellington had relieved me from many duns, which 
else had given me vast uneasiness. I saw him there, 
perhaps for the last time in my life. Ponsonby was 
nothing to me, and out of town ; in fact, I had been 
in bad spirits all the morning, and strange, but very 
true, and he remembers it still, when I was about to 
say, " God bless you, Wellington ! " I burst into tears. 
They appeared to afford rather an unusual unction to 
his soul, and his astonishment seemed to me not quite 
unmixed with gratitude. 

"If you change your home," said Wellington, 
kissing my cheek, "let me find your address at 
Thomas's Hotel, as soon as I come to England ; and, 
if you want anything in the meantime, write to Spain ; 
and do not cry ; and take care of yourself : and do 
not cut -me when 1 come back." 

"Do you hear?" said Wellington; first wiping 
away some of my tears with my handkerchief; and 
then, kissing my eyes, he said, " God bless you ! " 
and hurried away. 

Argyle continued to correspond with me ; but, if 
one might judge from the altered style of his letters, 
Wellington had made a breach in his grace's late 
romantic sentiments in my favour. Breach-making 
was Wellington's trade, you know ; and little as men 
of Argyle's nation might be expected to care about 
breeches, yet the idea of Wellington often made him 
sigh ; and sometimes he whistled , which, with Argyle, 
was just the same thing. 

1 forgot to mention, that, on the day after I met 
a certain great man at Julia's house, my servant 
84 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

informed me a gentleman in the parlour desired to 
speak to me. 

" Why do not you bring his name ? " said I. 

" The gentleman says it does not signify," was my 
footman's answer. 

"Go, and tell him that I think it does signify; 
and that I will not receive people who are ashamed 
either of me or themselves." 

The man hesitated. 

" Stay," said I, " I will put it down for you," and I 
wrote what I had said on a bit of paper. 

My servant brought me back the paper, on the 
blank side of which was written, with a pencil, one 
word. 

I sent it down again, with these words written 
underneath the word, on purpose to put him in a 
passion, " Don't know anybody in that shire." 

The servant returned once more, with one of his 
lordship's printed cards, assuring me the gentleman 
in the parlour was walking about in a great passion. 

I desired him to be shown upstairs ; and, when he 
entered, I stood up, as though waiting to hear why 
he intruded on me. *"""* 

" I believe, madam," said his lordship, " some 
apology is due to you from me." 

" Are you going to tell me that you were 'tipsy, 
when you last did me the favour to mistake my 
house for an inn, or something worse ? " 

" No ! certainly not," answered the peer. 

" Were you quite sober ? " 

" Perfectly." 

" Then your late conduct admits of no apology, 
and you could offer none which would not humble 
and greatly wound my pride, to avoid which I must 
take the liberty of wishing you a good morning." 

I then rang my bell and left him. 

More than a month had now elapsed since Lord 
Ponsonby left London, and I perceived no signs of 
his return. Yet I never forgot him, although half 
the fine young men in town were trying to please 

85 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

me. Amy continued to give her parties, but soberly ; 
that is to say, Sydenham insisted on having his house 
quiet before three in the morning. One evening, 
when Fanny and Julia dined with me, I got up from 
my table to open my window, and I saw Lord Pon- 
sonby, who was slowly riding by my house, with his 
face turned towards my window. This time there 
could be no doubt as to his blushing. My happiness 
was now of a nature too pure to be trifled with, and I 
know I could not endure to have it intruded on by any 
commonplace remarks. I kept his appearance there- 
fore a profound secret ; although 1 found it the most 
difficult thing possible to talk on any other subject, 
I thought these women never would have left me. 
They took their leave however at last ; but not till 
near twelve o'clock. 

I could not sleep a wink all night ! At nine the 
next morning I rang my bell, being quite worn out 
with attempting it. My maid entered my room 
with a letter, which had just arrived by the twopenny 
post. It was as follows ; 

" I have long been very desirous to make your 
acquaintance : will you let me ? A friend of mine 
has told me something about you ; but I am afraid 
you were then only laughing at me ; et il se pent, 
quun hommc passe, ne soit bon que pour cela ! I hope, 
at all events, that you will write me one line, to say 

you forgive me, and direct it to my house in town. 

tt p " 

I will not attempt to describe all I felt on the 
receipt of this first epistle from Lord Ponsonby. I 
am now astonished at that infatuation, which could 
render a girl like me possessed certainly of a very 
feeling, affectionate heart, thus thoughtless and care- 
less of the fate of another : and that other a young, 
innocent and lovely wife ! Had anybody reminded 
me that I was now about to inflict perhaps the deepest 
wound in the breast of an innocent wife, I hope and 
believe I should have stopped there ; and then what 
86 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

pain and bitter anguish I had been spared ; but I 
declare to my reader that Lady Fanny Ponsonby 
never once entered my head. 

I had seen little or nothing of the world. I never 
possessed a really wise friend, to set me right, advise 
or admonish me. My mother had ever seemed 
happiest in my father's absence, nor did she vex or 
trouble herself to watch his steps ; and I did not 
know, or at all events I did not think, my seeking 
Lord Ponsonby's acquaintance would be likely to 
injure any one of my fellow creatures ; or I am sure 
such a reflection must have embittered that pure state 
of happiness I now enjoyed. 

This was my answer to Lord Ponsonby's letter : 

" For the last five months I have scarcely lived but 
in your sight, and everything I have done or wished, 
or hoped or thought about, has had a reference to 
you and your happiness. Now tell me what you 
wish. 

" HARRIETTE." 

Reply : 

" I fancy, though we never met, that you and I 
are in fact acquainted, and understand each other 
perfectly. If I do not affect to disbelieve you, you 
will not say I am vain ; and when I tell you that we 
cannot meet immediately, owing to a very severe 
domestic calamity, you will not say I am cold. In 
the meantime will you write to me ? The little watch 
I have got for you, I am not quite satisfied with. I 
have seen one in better taste, and flatter. But my 
poor father is dying and counts the minutes of my 
absence, or I could have found one to please you. 
However, you will keep this for my sake. I will 
leave it myself at your house this evening. I can 
scarcely describe to you how exhausted I am ; for I 
have passed the whole of the three last nights by the 
bedside of my sick father, without rest. I know he 
will have your prayers. At midnight, let us pray for 

87 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

him, together. He has been suffering more than five 
months. Adieu, dear Harriette." 

Lord Ponsonby 's solitary rides with his dog, his 
paleness, and that melancholy expression of coun- 
tenance, which at once interested me so deeply, were 
now accounted for. During three weeks more we 
corresponded daily. His father continued to exist, and 
that was all. I learned from his lordship's letters 
that, on the night we saw him for a few moments at 
the opera, his father was pronounced out of danger, 
and country-air was recommended to him, which, 
having produced no favourable change, nothing now 
could save him. My happiness, while that corres- 
pondence went on, was the purest, the most exalted, 
and the least allied to sensuality, of any I ever ex- 
perienced in my life. Ponsonby, 1 conceived, was 
now mine, by right mine, by that firm courage which 
made me feel ready to endure any imaginable evil 
for his sake. I was morally certain that nothing in 
existence could love Lord Ponsonby, or could feel 
the might and majesty of his peculiarly intellectual 
beauty as I did. 

" My beloved," so he wrote to me at last, " my 
spirits and health fail me ; they are worn out and 
exhausted, with this close confinement. My poor 
father no longer suffers, or is scarcely sensible. My 
brother George will take my place by his bedside. 
Let us meet this evening, and you will console me. 
I shall go to you at nine.'' 

Lord Ponsonby was then coming to me at last 1 I 
began to fear the expression of his eyes, so penetra- 
ting, so very bright. I began to think myself under 
the influence of a dream, and that he was not coming ; 
then I feared sudden death would deprive me of him. 
[ heard the knock, and his footsteps on the stairs ; 
and then that most godlike head uncovered, that 
countenance, so pale, so still, and so expressive, the 
mouth of such perfect loveliness; the fine clear, 
transparent, dark skin. I looked earnestly in his 
88 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

face, I watched for that characteristic blush which 
made me fancy his body thought, to be certain of rny 
own happiness ! and then my overflowing heart was 
relieved by a flood of tears. 

" My dear, dear, little Harriette," said Ponsonby, 
drawing me towards him, and passing his arm softly 
round my waist, " let us be happy now we are met." 
My smile must have been expressive of the most 
heartfelt felicity; yet our happiness was of that 
tranquil nature which is nearer allied to melancholy 
than to mirth. We conversed together all night, with 
my head resting on his shoulder. An age could not 
have made us better acquainted ! Ponsonby *s health 
and spirits were evidently quite exhausted by anxiety 
and want of rest. Neither of us desired anything, 
while thus engaged in conversation. Yes, perhaps, I 
did, as my eyes were fixed, for hours, on his beautiful 
and magnificent countenance, feel my own lips almost 
tremble, as I thought they would be pressed to his, 
and Ponsonby seemed to understand and feel my 
wishes, for he said, in answer to nothing but the 
expression of my eyes 

" No, not to night ! I could not bear your kiss to 
night. We will dream about it till to-morrow." 

Ponsonby assured me, in the course of our tete-a- 
tete, that the first time he had seen me, was one day 
when I lived at Somers-town two years before. For 
three or four days after that, he could think of 
nothing else. He met me with Argyle again, and 
wished to forget me ; but, added he, " I, being the 
shyest poor wretch in the world, have ever held any- 
thing like notoriety in the greatest dread. I abhor 
it ! therefore, when you came out at the opera, and I 
heard all the fine young men talking about you, it 
was not so difficult to forget you ; and yet, though 
you did not see me, I was always looking at you, and 
trying to hear some one talk about you. When we 
met latterly in the Park, there was something so 
natural and unaffected, and wild, about your manner, 
that I began to forget your notoriety." 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Ponsonby then told me all about the poor old 
woman to whom I had given half a crown in the 
Park ; but what he said on that head was far too 
flattering for me to repeat. It was past five in the 
morning when we separated. 

" You are so ill and fatigued," said I, " dear 
Ponsonby, that I will not let you come to me 
to-morrow night." 

" Oh, but 1 must 1 " answered Ponsonby. 

" Indeed you must rest." 

" Impossible ! " he replied. 

We made no professions of love to each other not 
one ; for we were as certain, as of our existence, that 
we were mutually adored ; and yet we passed the 
night together, and parted, without a kiss, to meet 
early the following evening. 



90 



CHAPTER VI 

AT nine o'clock on the following evening, Ponsonby 
entered the room, an altered man. He was one of 
the very few persons 1 have met with in my life, who, 
from the natural extreme reserve and shyness of their 
disposition, absolutely required to be a very little tipsy 
before they can give their brilliant imaginations fair 
play. Ponsonby had slept, drunk a little more claret, 
and, what lately had been unusual to him owing to 
his father's lingering illness, had put on an evening 
dress. He appeared now so much more beautiful 
than 1 had ever imagined any mortal mixture of 
earth's clay, that I began to lose my confidence in 
myself and tremble. There was too a look of success 
about him, for indeed the humblest man on earth 
must have borrowed courage from the reflection of 
Ponsonby's looking-glass on that evening : and there 
he sat for half an hour, laughing and showing his 
brilliant teeth, while he related to me many witty 
things which had been said by his uncle, whom he 
had just left the George Ponsonby, now no more, 
who spoke so well on the Opposition side. 

" Can one endure this any longer," thought I. " I 
was getting into a fever. Perhaps he does not love 
me!" 

" You are so proud of being dressed to-night ! " I 
remarked with some drollery, and I thought he never 
would have ceased laughing at me. 

It was very tiresome. 

" The fact is," said Ponsonby, in his sweet voice, 
the beauteous tones of which nobody ever did or will 

91 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

dispute, " the fact is, I really am proud of it ; for I 
have not worn shoes before for these last three 
months ; but," added he, " do you know what I am 
most proud of in the world, and which, poor as I am, 
upon my honour, I would not exchange, at this mo- 
ment, for a hundred thousand pounds ? " 

No ! " 

" I will tell you, my place in your heart and your 
arms this evening." He put his arms round my waist, 
and my lips were nearly touching his. Ponsonby's 
cheek was now tinged with the glowing blush of 
passion ; yet he turned from my kiss like a spoiled 
child. 

" No ! " said Ponsonby, shaking his head, " I have 
a thousand things to tell you." 

" I cannot listen to one of them," said I, faintly, 
and our lips met in one long, long delicious kiss ! so 
sweet, so ardent ! that it seemed to draw the life's 
warm current from my youthful heart to reanimate 
his with all its wildest passion. 

And then ! yes, and then, as Sterne, says, and 
then we parted. 

The next day, at past three o'clock, Fanny found 
me in bed. 

" Hdw abominably idle ! " said Fanny. 

I answered that I was not well. 

" You do not look very bad," Fanny replied ; " on 
the contrary, I have not seen you look so well, nor 
your eyes so bright, for some time." 

" Well," said I, " if you really think me out of 
danger, I will get up." 

ft Come ! " answered Fanny, " shall I ring for your 
maid ? I want you to take me to Julia's." 

While I was dressing, Fanny informed me that 
she had given up her own house to go and live with 
Julia. 

" I rather prefer living alone," she continued, " but 
Julia is so very dull, and my paying half her rent will 
also be of service to her." 

" And some of your beaux may perhaps be brought 
92 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

to flirt with her, poor thing 1 " added I, " for really 
their neglect is very hard upon her." 

Much more beauty, it should seem, is required to 
please without virtue than with it, since, it is said, 
that Julia at her mamma's made conquests every 
where and every hour. Even the Regent himself 
once said he would travel a hundred miles to have 
the pleasure of seeing her dance. 

Her dancing, we both agreed, was perfection : 
speaking of what was most truly graceful, effeminate 
and ladylike. 

" Brummel has been with her, making strong love 
lately," said Fanny. 

" Oh, the shocking deceiver ! Tell Julia not to 
believe one word he says." 

I inquired how Amy and Syderiham went on. 

" Pretty well," answered Fanny. " Sydenham is 
not only a very good-natured, but a remarkably 
clever, and well-bred man. Amy tries his patience 
too, a little, with his passion for books ; she is always 
taking them out of his hand, and making him look at 
her attitudes before the glass, or her attempts at the 
shawl-dance." 

" What does Sydenham do for the Marquis of 
Wellesley?"! asked. 

" Everything, I believe," Fanny replied. " He ap- 
pears to write all his letters and papers, in the shape 
of business ; and so I believe he did in India ; but I 
know that Wellesley does nothing except by his 
advice." 

" Pray does Lord Wellesley make his love too, as 
well as his reputation, by proxy ? " 

" I do not know," answered Fanny, laughing, 
" although, I believe he passed a good deal of his time 
formerly with the lady they call Mrs. Moll Raffles," 
as Fanny designated her in her zeal to be civil. 

" I never saw anybody in such spirits as you to- 
day," Fanny remarked to me, when we got into the 
carriage. " I am afraid there is some mischief in the 
wind. What has become of Lord Ponsonby ? " 

93 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

I was too happy to talk about it, so I contrived to 
change the subject " Where shall I take you to ? " 
I inquired. 

" To Julia's, where I am now settled. I went there 
yesterday," was Fanny's answer. 

" This world is really made to be laughed at," said 
Fanny, suddenly leaning her head out of the carriage 
window. 

" What is the matter ? " I asked. 

" That man," said Fanny, " with his grave face and 
his large board, hoisted up, standing there, challeng- 
ing the world, as if he were Don Quixote come to 
life again." 

" What for? "said I. 

" Bayley's Blacking. Can one conceive anything 
so absurd ? " 

I set her down us desired, and begged her to make 
my excuse to Julia, who was at her window with 
Horace Beckford, the handsome nephew of Lord 
Rivers. He appeared inclined to pay her attention, 
if one might judge by the soft smile which was play- 
ing about his features: but then he was eternally 
smiling. 

I found my very constant and steady admirer, Lord 
Frederick Bentinck, waiting for me, prepared, as usual, 
to give me a world of advice. He told me that I was 
going on in a very bad way, and asked me whither I 
expected to go ? 

" Where are you going to ? " said I, as he walked 
into my dressing-room, and seemed to admire himself 
in my large glass. ?> 

" I am going to see the Duchess 01 York, said 
Fred Bentinck. 

" What of that ! " I returned. " Where are your 

gloves?" 

" I never wear them, unless at court ; but I have 
got on a new pair of leather breeches ^to-day, and I 
want to see how they fit by your glass." 

Brummell at this moment was announced. 

" How very apropos you are arrived," I remarked. 
94. 



MEMOIRS OF HARR1ETTE WILSON 

" Lord Frederick wants your opinion on his new 
leather breeches." 

"Come here, Fred Bentinck!" said Brummell. 
" But there is only one man on earth who can make 
leather breeches ! " 

" Mine were made by a man in the Haymarket," 
Bentinck observed, looking down at them with much 
pride ; for he very seldom sported anything new. 

" My dear fellow, take them off directly ! " said 
Brummell. 

" I beg I may hear of no such thing,'' said I, hastily 
" else, where would he go to, I wonder, without his 
small-clothes ? " 

" You will drive me out of the house, Harriette," 
said Fred Bentinck ; and then put himself into atti- 
tudes, looking anxiously and very innocently, from 
George Brummell to his leather breeches, and from 
his leather breeches to the looking-glass. 

" They only came home this morning," proceeded 
Fred, "and 1 thought they were rather neat." 

44 Bad knees, my good fellow ! bad knees ! " said 
Brummell, shrugging up his shoulders. 

" They will do very well," I remarked. " Fred 
Bentinck do start a new subject, for first with my 
latter end and then with your own, this is quite 
worn out." 

"I am sorry," said Fred Bentinck, "very sorry to 
say that I am afraid you will turn out bad." 

" What do you call bad ? " 

" Why profligate ! and wicked. " 

" Oh ! you don't say so ? what do you mean by 
wicked ? " 

" Why why, in short," continued Frederick " in 
short, shall I drive you down to Greenwich to 
dinner ? " 

" And suppose I should grow wicked on the 
road?" said I. 

" Do you know what the Duke of York says of 
you Fred ? " said Brummell. 

" The Duke of York talks in a very nasty way," 

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MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

said Fred Bentinck, " I I, for my part, hate all im- 
modest conversation." 

" And that is the reason why I save up all the odd 
stories I can learn, for you and for you only," I 
observed. " And yet you come here every day ? " 

"As to you," said Fred, "you are a beautiful 
creature, and I come to try to reform you, or else 
what will become of you when you grow old ? " 

"Age cannot wither me, nor custom stale my 
infinite variety : " was my reply. 

" You are mad ! " said Fred Bentinck. 

"And you are monstrous top-heavy ! and madness 
being often light-headedness, I wish you would go 
mad too." 

"Apropos, Mr. Brummell," said I turning to him. 
" I have never yet had time to acknowledge your 
effusion ; and I have the less regret on that score, 
because 1 learned from Fanny to-day that you are 
false-hearted." 

"Julia and 1," said Brummell, "are very old 
friends, you know." 

"True," said I, "which, I suppose, accounts for 
her preference of Horace Beckford." 

BrummelFs pride appeared to take alarm as he 
inquired if Julia really admired Horace. 

" 1 know nothing whatever about it," answered I, 
" except that I saw them both at the window together 
to-day." 

Brummell seized his hat. 

" Take Fred Bentinck with you," said I. 

" Come Fred," said Brummell ; " but you have not 
heard what the Duke of York says of you." 

" I can guess," replied Fred, trying to make his 
goodnatured face severe and cross. 

" Oh ! he has accused you to your face, I see," 
reiterated Brummell. 

" So much the better," said Fred Bentinck, " a 
man cannot be too virtuous." 

" Talking of virtue," I remarked to Fred, " really 
that brother Charles of yours made himself rather 
96 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

too ridiculous by writing those letters to Lady Abdy 
about his intention to die, in case she continued 
cruel." 

" I have no more patience with Charles Bentinck 
than you have," said Frederick, " particularly with his 
bringing Lady Abdy to my brother's house. I told 
him he ought to be ashamed of himself." 

" I do not know anything about that, I only allude 
to the folly of a strong young man like Charles 
Bentinck, sitting down to his muffins and eggs in a 
state of perfect health, and, with his mouth crammed 
full of both, calling for half a sheet of paper to write 
to Lady Abdy, that he was, at that present writing, 
about to die ! and therefore took up his pen, to re- 
quest her to be kind to his daughter Georgiana when 
he should be no more ! " 

" I do not set up for a remarkably clever fellow," 
Fred Bentinck observed ; " but if I had made such a 
fool of myself as Charles did in that business, I would 
blow my brains out ! " 

** You are helping him out of it nicely," Brummell 
observed to Fred Bentinck. 

" I have no patience with people who expose them- 
selves," continued Fred Bentinck ; " because it is in 
everybody's power to be silent : and, as to love-letters, 
a man has no excuse for writing them." 

" There's no wisdom below the girdle, some philo- 
sopher said in old times," I remarked 

" I wish I could break you of that dreadful habit 
of making such indecent allusions, Harriette 1 " said 
Fred Bentinck. 

" I never make them to any one but you." 

" I'll give you ten pounds if you will let me burn 
this book," said Bentinck, taking up Fanblas. 

" In the meantime," I continued, " you seem to be 
glajicing your eye over it with something like satis- 
faction, for a man, such as the Duke of York describes, 
of unblemished reputation for chastity ! But, to 
revert to your brother's dying, with the hot muffins 
in his mouth, for Lady Abdy. Would not a man, 

i G 97 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

who really and seriously had made up his mind to die 
for love, have written a little note and, after sealing 
it with a death's head or something of that kind, have 
hidden it somewhere, to be delivered when he should 
be defunct instead of talking of death, like Shake- 
speare's 

* certain Lord, neat and trimly dressed, 

Fresh as a bridegroom and his chin new reaped.' " 

" Thank God," said Fred Bentinck, laughing, " I 
shall never be in love ! " 

" Why you adore me, and have done so for the last 
twelvemonth," said I; "but I want you to transfer 
your love to a friend of mine." 

" Do Fred," said Brummell, taking up his hat, 
" moderate your passion if possible, and be sure to burn 
those leather breeches of yours." 

"I want you," continued I, after Brummell had 
left us, " 1 want you to fall in love with Julia John- 
stone." 

" She is a fine woman," answered Fred Bentinck ; 
" only I am so afraid she should love me in return ; 
and if you, Julia, or any woman were to love me, I 
should be sick directly." 

"How do you know?" I asked; "who on earth 
ever tried you that way ? " 

"Why, there was a woman six years ago," said 
Frederick, " who certainly did love me." 

" How very extraordinary ! " I remarked. 

" At least," continued Bentinck, " she gave me 
such proofs as no man could doubt, and I assure you 
I was never so sick, or so disgusted, in my whole life ; 
and so I am now whenever I happen to meet her." 

" Fiez vous a moi, done" said I, "for here you 
shall ever find safety." 

" I know it," answered Bentinck, " and that is why 
I like you." 

He now recollected his intention of visiting the 
Duchess of York, and took his leave. 

Lord Ponsonby and myself met every evening, for 
98 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

more than a week. We were never tired of conver- 
sing with each other. His humour exactly suited 
mine. In short, though I have been called agreeable 
all my life, I am convinced that I was never half so 
pleasant or so witty as in Ponsonby 's society. We 
seldom contrived to separate before five or six o'clock 
in the morning, and Ponsonby generally came to me 
as soon as it was dark. Nor did we always wait for 
the evening to see each other, though respect for 
Lady Ponsonby made us ever, by mutual consent, 
avoid all risk of wounding her feelings ; therefore, 
almost every day after dinner we met in the park by 
appointment, not to speak butonly tolookat each other. 

One morning, being greatly struck with the beauty 
of a young lady who drove by me in a very elegant 
little carriage, while I was expecting to see Lord 
Ponsonby, I inquired of the gentleman who was 
walking with me if he knew who she was ! It was 
the man well known in the fashionable world by the 
appellation of Poodle Byng, the title of Poodle having 
been bestowed on him owing to his very curly white 
locks, in defence of which he always declared that his 
head was the original from which all the young men 
and their barbers took base copies. 

" It is," answered Poodle, " that most lovely crea- 
ture, Lady Fanny Ponsonby, whom we are all sighing 
and dying for.' 1 

She was indeed very lovely, and did not appear to 
be more than eighteen. I considered her with respect 
and admiration, unmixed with jealousy. This was 
not the rose ; but she had dwelled with it. I thought 
that she resembled Lord Ponsonby, and I felt that I 
could have loved her dearly. "Thank heaven," 
thought I, " this beautiful girl appears quite calm and 
happy ; therefore I have done her no harm." 

In the evening I was eager to praise her to her 
husband. "She possesses all the beauty of the 
Jerseys," said I to him ; " and what a pretty little 
foot 1 " This I had observed as she got out of her 
carriage in Curzon-street. 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" How very odd ! " Ponsonby remarked. 

"What is odd?" 

" Why, I do believe you like Fanny ! " 

" Be sure of it then," I answered. " I like her as 
much as I should dislike any woman who did not 
love you dearly. Listen to me, Ponsonby," I con- 
tinued, taking his hand, and speaking with steady 
firmness. " All my religion is from my heart, and 
not from books. If ever our intimacy is discovered 
so as to disturb her peace of mind, on that day we 
must separate for ever. I can but die, and God, I 
hope, will have mercy on me, very soon after our 
separation, if ever it should be found necessary ; but 
we are not monsters ! therefore we will never indulge 
in selfish enjoyment at the expense of misery to any 
one of our fellow creatures, much less one who depends 
on you for all her happiness." 

"And she is very happy, thank God," said 
Ponsonby, " and I would rather forfeit my life than 
destroy her peace." 

" Be firm in that I entreat you," I replied, " for 
there can be no rest here nor hereafter without the 
acquittal of our hearts. Mine was devoted to you 
with that sincere ardour and deep character of feeling 
which is so natural to me, before I knew that you 
were married. I know it now, too late to endure life 
when you shall have left me ; but I can die when her 
happiness shall require it." Alas ! 1 knew not half 
the anguish and suffering the human frame can 
endure, and yet survive ! 

One night, about a week from the day Ponsonby 
first visited me, when I did not expect him till mid- 
night, 1 retired to bed and fell fast asleep, which said 
long nap neither Ponsonby nor any one else had 
disturbed. When I awoke, the sun was shining 
through my curtains. My first thoughts were always 
on Ponsonby, and I recollected, with a deep feeling 
of disappointment, that he had promised the night 
before to come to me by midnight, and I had desired 
my maid to send him up into my room as soon as he 
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MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

arrived. I felt for his little watch, which I always 
placed under my pillow ; judge my astonishment to 
find, attached to it, a magnificent gold chain of 
exquisite workmanship. I began to think myself in 
the land of fairies ! and still more so, when I observed 
a very beautiful pearl ring on one of my fingers. I 
rubbed my eyes and opened them wide, to ascertain 
beyond a doubt that I was broad awake. A very 
small strip of writing paper, which I had drawn from 
under my pillow with my watch, now caught my 
attention and I read, written with a pencil in 
Ponsonby's small beautiful character : " Dors, cher 
enfant, je faime trap tendrement, pour fcvciller" 

It was very sentimental and affectionate ; for 
Ponsonby knew how much I required rest. I was 
very grateful, and yet I thought it altogether exceed- 
ingly provoking ! How could I be so stupid as not 
to awake, even when he had his hand under my 
pillow, in search of my watch ! I rang my bell, and 
inquired of my maid how long she thought Lord 
Ponsonby had stayed with me the night before. 

" More than an hour," was the reply. 

" Dear Ponsonby," said I, as soon as she had 
quitted the room, while I bestowed a thousand kisses 
on the beautiful watch and chain, " you are the first 
man on earth who ever sacrificed his own pleasure 
and passions to secure my repose ! " 

Lord Ponsonby's father still continued another 
fortnight in the same hopeless state. His favourite 
son deeply lamented his illness, and had been inde- 
fatigable in his attentions ; refusing to visit me or 
anybody as long as there was hope, or while his 
father could derive comfort from his son's affections ; 
but, when nothing more could be done, he had 
sought comfort in the society of the person who loved 
him best. I should do Lord Ponsonby great injustice 
were I to say that he ever forgot or neglected his father. 

I asked a friend of Lord Ponsonby one day why he 
did not adore his beautiful wife? He had no idea 
that I was acquainted with his lordship. 

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MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Lord Ponsonby is always very kind and affection- 
ate to her," was the reply. 

" True," I continued ; " but I have heard that he 
does not fly to her for consolation when he is melan- 
choly, nor consult her, nor make a friend of her." 

" Lady Fanny is a sweet-tempered child," said he ; 
" but not at all clever : and then, poor thing ! she is 
very deaf, which affliction came on after a violent 
attack of scarlet fever." 

" What a beautiful, sweet and calm expression of 
countenance she possesses," I remarked, " so pale, 
that her features at first sight appear only pretty ; but 
on examination they are found perfect ; and her dark, 
clear, brown eyes " 

" So like your own," said the gentleman, interrupt- 
ing me. 

" I have heard that remark made before," I replied, 
blushing deeply ; " but I am not vain enough to credit 
it." 

" With all their beauty," remarked Ponsonby 's 
friend, " men soon grow tired of those Jerseys, with 

the exception only of Lady , with whom the 

wicked world say the Duke of Argyle has been in 
love more than twenty years." 

" Is not the boy they call Frank supposed to be a 
son of the duke ? " I asked. 

" I have heard so ; but let us hope it is all vile 
scandal." 

" With all my heart ; but how does Lady Fanny 
Ponsonby pass her time ? " 

" She draws prettily," he observed : " and she has 
now got a little companion she is very fond of." 

" Who is that ? " said I. 

" A mouse, which, having one night showed its 
little face to her ladyship in her drawing-room, she so 
coaxed him with her dainties for three weeks together, 
that she contrived to tame him : and now he will eat 
them out of her lovely hands." 

" But then after the mouse is gone to bed," said I, 
" how does her ladyship amuse herself ? " 
102 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" With her younger sister, or in writing or draw- 
ing. Lady Fanny does not much care for society." 

" She is not a flirt, I believe ? " 

" What man can she think it worth while to flirt 
with," answered he, " being married to such a one as 
Ponsonby." 

I was charmed to hear my own sentiments from 
the lips of another, and one of his own sex too. 

" You admire Lord Ponsonby then ? " said I. 

" Admire ! depend upon it there is nothing like 
him in all Europe. I speak of him altogether, as to 
his beauty, his manners, and his talents; but Lord 
Ponsonby," he continued, " owing to his extreme re- 
serve and his excessive shyness is very little known. 
He never desires to be known or appreciated but by 
his own particular friends : yet 1 know few so capable 
of distinguishing themselves anywhere, particularly in 
the senate, as his lordship : his remarkably fine voice, 
and his language, always so persuasive and eloquent ; 
besides he is such an excellent politician. He will 
now, shortly, by the expected death of his father," 
continued the gentleman, whose name if I recollect 
well, was Matthew Lee, " become one of the peers of 
the United Kingdom. I was telling him, the other 
day, how much we should be disappointed if he did 
not take a very active part in the debates. 'God for- 
bid! ' said Ponsonby. It is all I can do to find nerve 
for yes or no, when there is a question in the House, 
and that in a whisper/ " 

" How came he to be so shy ?" I asked. 

" And how came it to become him so well ? " re- 
turned his friend, " for it would make any other man 
awkward, and Ponsonby is most graceful when he is 
most embarrassed. I have known him from a boy. 
We were at school together. The ladies were all run- 
ning mad for him before he was fifteen, and I really 
believe, that at eighteen Ponsonby, with the true 
genuine Irish character and warmest passions, had not 
looked any woman full in the face ; and to this day 
his friends are obliged to make him half tipsy in order 

108 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

to enjoy his society. Yet, with all this timidity," he 
went on, observing that I was never tired of the sub- 
ject, and could pay attention to no other, " Ponsonby 
has a remarkably fine high spirit. One night, very 
late, near Dublin, he met two of his brothers just as 
they had got into a violent row with three raw-boned, 
half naked Irish pats. Seeing that his brothers were 
drunk, Ponsonby began to remonstrate with them, 
and strove to persuade them to come home quietly, 
when one of those ruffians struck his youngest brother 
a very unfair blow with a stick. 

" * Now, d n your hearts and bl ds ! ' said Lord 
Ponsonby, stripping and setting to with the strength 
and spirit of a prize-fighter. 

" His own mother at this moment could not have 
known her son : the metamorphosis was nearly as 
laughable as it was astonishing." 

I asked how long he had been married ? 

" Not five years." 

" And Lady Fanny's age ? " 

" Twenty," 

I then asked if he married her for love or money ? 

" Money ! " said Lee, indignantly. " It is now clear 
to me that you do not know Lord Ponsonby. I was 
just beginning to suspect from the multiplicity of 
your questions that you did." 

" He was very much in love with her then ? " 1 in- 
quired, without attending to this observation. 

" She was not fourteen," answered Lee, " when 
Ponsonby first met her at her mother's, Lady Jersey's. 
He was of course, like everybody else, speedily struck 
with her beauty. She was not deaf then, but shortly 
afterwards she had a violent attack of scarlet fever, 
during which her life was despaired of for several 
weeks: indeed, there was scarcely a hope of her 
recovery. I remember Ponsonby said to me one 
night, as we passed by Lady Jersey's house together 
' The loveliest young creature I have ever beheld on 
earth lies in that room dying.' The first time Lady 
Fanny appeared in her mother's drawing-room she 
104 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

resembled a spirit so fair, so calm, so transparent. All 
her magnificent hair, which had before reached and 
now again descends much below her waist, had been 
shorn from her beautiful little head. She often took 
her lace cap off and exhibited herself thus to anybody, 
to raise a laugh ; or perhaps she knew that she was, 
even without hair, as lovely as ever. 

" Lord Ponsonby, as he has told me since, was 
present when her ladyship first left her room, and soon 
discovered that she was now afflicted with deafness. 
He felt the deepest interest, admiration and pity for 
her. He considered with horror the bare possibility 
of this sweet, fragile little being, becoming the wife of 
some man, who might hereafter treat her harshly. 
Added to this, I fancy," continued Lee, " Ponsonby 
had discovered that he was not indifferent to her little 
ladyship ; so, to secure her from any of these evils, he 
resolved to propose for her himself. I need not add 
that he was joyfully accepted by both mother and 
daughter. He might have done better," added Lee, 
"and 1 fancy Ponsonby sometimes wishes that his 
wife could be his friend and companion : but that is 
quite out of the question. Her ladyship is good and 
will do as she is bid ; but, besides her deafness, her 
understanding is neither bright nor lively. Lord 
Ponsonby shows her the sort of indulgence and ten- 
derness which a child requires ; but he must seek for 
a companion elsewhere." 

Mr. Lee then took leave of me: and a very few 
days after this conversation had taken place, Lord 
Ponsonby's father breathed his last in the arms of his 
son, who immediately left town without seeing me ; 
but he wrote to me most affectionately. 



105 



CHAPTER VII 

A FEW days after his departure I was surprised by a 
visit from Sir William Abdy, with whom I was but 
very slightly acquainted. I thought it strange his 
paying any visits so immediately after the elopement 
of his wife, who was a natural daughter of the Marquis 
Wellesley by a Frenchwoman, who, as I am told, once 
used to walk in the Palais Royal at Paris, but after- 
wards became Marchioness of Wellesley. 

" I have called upon you, Miss Harriette," said Sir 
William, almost in tears, " in the first place, because 
you are considered exactly like my wife," my likeness 
to Lady Abdy had often been thought very striking 
"and, in the second, because I know you are a 
woman of feeling ! " 

I opened my eyes in astonishment. 

" Women," he continued, " have feeling, and that's 
more than men have." 

I could not conceive what he would be at. 

" You know, Miss Harriette, all about what has 
happened, and my crim. con. business, don't you, 
miss ? " 

" Yes." 

" Could you have thought it ? " 

" Oh yes ! " 

" And yet, I am sure, Charles Bentinck is worse 
than I am." 

" In what way, pray ? " 

" Why, a worse head," said Sir William, touching 
his forehead, "and I don't pretend to be clever 
myself/' 
106 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Is that all ? But I would not be so very demon- 
strative as to touch my forehead, if I were you," 

" That Charles Bentinck," said he, half angry, " is 
the greatest fool in the world ; and in Paris we always 
used to laugh at him." 

" But," said I, " why did you suffer his lordship to 
be eternally at your house ? " 

" Why, dear me ! " answered Abdy, peevishly, "I 
told him in a letter I did not like it and I thought it 
wrong, and he told me it was no such thing." 

" And therefore," I remarked, " you suffered him 
to continue his visits as usual ? " 

" Why, good gracious, what could I do ! Charles 
Bentinck told me, upon his honour, he meant nothing 
wrong." 

"This man is really too good!" thought I, and 
then I affected the deepest commiseration of his 
mishap. 

" Why did she run away from you ? " said I. "Why 
not, at least, have carried on the thing quietly ? " 

" That's what I say," said Abdy. 

" Because," I continued, " had she remained with 
you sir, you would have always looked forward with 
hope to that period when age and ugliness should 
destroy all her power of making conquests." 

" Oh," said Abdy, clasping his hands, " if any real 
friend like you had heartened me up in this way at 
the time, I could have induced her to have returned 
to me 1 But then, Miss Wilson, they all said I should 
be laughed at and frightened me to death. It was 
very silly to be sure of me to mind them ; for it is 
much better to be laughed at, than to be so dull and 
miserable as I am now." 

" Shall I make you a cup of tea, Sir William ? " 

" Oh ! Miss, you are so good ! tea is very refreshing 
when one is in trouble." 

I hastened to my bell, to conceal the strong inclina- 
tion I felt to laugh in his face, and ordered tea. 

" Green tea is the best, is it not, Miss ? " said Sir 

William. 

107 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Oh, yes," answered 1, " as green as a willow leaf: 
and in extreme cases like yours I am apt to recom- 
mend a little gunpowder." 

"Just as you please, Miss." 

I asked him, after he had swallowed three cups of 
tea, whether he did not feel himself a little revived. 

" Yes, Miss, I should soon get better here ; but you 
know my house is such a very dull house and in such 
a very dull street too ! Hill-street is, I think, the 
dullest street in all London, do you know, Miss 
Wilson.' 

u True, Sir William ! would not you like to go to 
Margate ? " 

" Why I was thinking of travelling, for you know 
in Hill Street, there is her sofa just as she left." 

" Very nervous indeed," said I, interrupting him. 
" I would burn the sofa at all events." 

"And then there is her pianoforte." 

" Lady Abdy was musical then ? " 

" Oh, very. She was always at it ! I used to be 
tired to death of her music and often wished she 
would leave off: but now she is gone Miss Wilson, I 
would give the world to hear her play Foote's 
minuet ! " 

" Or, 'Off she goes,' " added I. 

" What is that, pray, Miss ? " 

" A very lively dance,' I answered. 

" True, Miss, I recollect my wife used to play it." 

" Dear me, Sir William, how could she be so foolish 
as to run away ? I dare say you never interfered 
with her, or entered her room without knocking." 

" Never, upon my honour." 

" Well, I always heard you were a very kind, 
obliging, good-natured husband." 

" Yes, and sometimes, when I used to knock 
latterly, Lady Abdy would not open the door 1 " 

" That was wrong," said I, shaking my head, " very 
wrong." 

" And how could that nasty, stupid fellow seduce 
her I cannot think ! " 
108 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" There was good blood in her veins, you know, by 
the mother's side. Besides, to tell you the truth, I 
don't think Charles Bentinck did seduce Lady Abdy 
from you." 

" Oh ! dear, Miss Wilson, what do you mean ? " 

"Shall I speak frankly?" 

" Oh, Lord a mercy 1 pray do ! I am quite in a 
fright!" 

" I think Fred Lamb was one of her seducers ; but 
how many more may have had a finger in the pie, I 
really cannot take upon myself to say." 

"Oh, Lord! oh, Lord! Miss Wilson!" said 
Sir William, grasping my arm with both his hands, 

" you do not say so ? What makes you think 

o " 
so ? 

" I have seen Fred Lamb daily and constantly 
riding past her door. I know him to be a young 
man of strong passions, much fonder of enjoyment 
than pursuit ; and further, my sister Fanny, one of 
the most charitable of all human beings, told me she 
had seen Fred Lamb in a private box at Drury Lane 
with your wife, and her hand was clasped in his, 
which he held on his knee ! " 

Oh, la, Miss 1 " 

" Come, do not take on so," said I, in imitation of 
Brummeirs nonsense, and striving to conceal a laugh, 
" leave your dull house in Hill Street, and set off to- 
morrow morning, on some pleasant excursion. Be 
assured that you will find fifty pretty girls, who will 
be so delighted with you as soon to make you forget 
Lady Abdy." 

" But then," said Sir William, " I cannot think how 
she came to be in the family- way : for I am sure, 
Miss Wilson, that during all the years we have lived 
together, I always " 

" Never mind," interrupted I, " go home now, and 
prepare for your journey, and be sure to write to me, 
and tell me if your mind is easier." 

"Thank you, Miss Wilson ! you are all goodness. 
I'll be sure to write, and I mean to set off to-morrow 

109 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

morning, and I'll never come back to that nasty, dull, 
large house of mine again." 

* c Get the sofa removed," said I, " at all events." 

" Yes, Miss, I will, thank you ; and the pianoforte. 
So good-bye, Miss ; " and then returning, quite in a 
whisper, " perhaps, Miss Wilson, when you and I be- 
come better acquainted, you'll give me a kiss ! " 

I only laughed, and bade him take care of himself, 
and so we parted. 

All this nonsense was however very poor amuse- 
ment to me, now that I had lost Lord Ponsonby. I 
considered that, although I was by my hard fate 
denied the pleasure of consoling his affliction, I might 
yet go into the country and lead the same retired sort 
of life which he did; and there endeavour by study to 
make myself rather more worthy of him. " I am a 
very ignorant little fool," thought I, " but it does not, 
therefore, follow, that I should remain a fool all my 
life, like Sir William Abdy." My plan was settled 
and arranged in less than an hour, and my small trunk 
packed, my carriage filled with books, and I and my 
femme de c/iambre on our road to Salt Hill. 

I told the landlady of the Castle Inn, that I was 
come to take up my residence with her for a fortnight, 
and that I should require a quiet comfortable room 
to study in. The word study sounded very well, I 
thought, as I pronounced it, and, after arranging my 
books in due order, in the pretty rural room allotted 
to me by my civil landlady, I sat down to consider 
which of them I should begin with, in order to be- 
come clever and learned at the shortest notice, as 
that good lady provided people with hot dinners. 

" Ponsonby, being forty already," thought I, " will 
be downright out, while I continue to bloom : therefore, 
when this idea makes him more timid and humble, I 
should like to improve my powers of consoling him 
and charming away all his cares. Let me see ! W hat 
knowledge will be likely to make me most agreeable 
to him ? Oh ! politics. What a pity that he does 
not like something less dry and more lively ! But, no 
110 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

matter ! " and I turned over the leaves of my History 
of England, for George the Second and George the 
Third, and I began reading the Debates in Parlia- 
ment " Let me consider ! " continued I, pausing. 
"I am determined to stick firm to the Opposition 
side, all my life ; because Ponsonby must know best : 
and yet it goes against the grain of all my late 
aristocratical prejudices, which, by-the-bye, only 
furnish a proof how wrong-headed young girls often 
are." 

I began to read a long speech of Lord Ponsonby 's 
late intimate friend, Charles James Fox. " This man," 
thought I, when I had finished his speech, " appears 
to have much reason on his side ; but then all great 
orators seem right, till they are contradicted by better 
reasoners ; so, if I read Pitt's answer to this speech, 1 
shall become as aristocratical as ever. I must begin 
with Pitt, and finish with Fox's answer and objections 
to Pitt's plan." I tried this method of making a little 
Whig of myself, pour les beaux yeux de milord 
Ponsonby. "After all," said I, pausing, "it will be 
no use, and very mean of me, to think one way and 
profess to think another ; and it still strikes me the 
better reason and the sounder judgment is with Pitt, 
who seems to go further and embrace a vaster and 
more solid plan than Fox. The latter finding all that 
wit and brilliant exercise of humour necessary, makes 
his appear to me the worse course ; then there is too 
much method in these Whigs, and their abuse of 
administration becomes pointless ; because it seems 
as though perpetually ready cut and dried ; and so 
vulgar ! and opposition is such a losing game ! and 
then I have a sneaking kindness for my king." 

" Quelk dommage ! I cannot be a Whig, for the life 
of me ! " said I, throwing away the book, and quietly 
reclined my head on my hand, in deep thought as to 
what next I should study, having determined at once, 
out of respect to Lord Ponsonby to stand neuter in 
regard to politics, since I could not make a Whig of 
myself. 

Ill 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

My landlady came in to know what I would have 
for dinner. 

" Oh, ma'am," I exclaimed, pushing aside my book, 
and walking towards the window, " it is impossible 
for persons to study if they are to be interrupted by 
such absurd questions." 

The woman begged my pardon. 

" Listen to me, madam," said I, with the utmost 
concentration of dignity ; " I have come into this re- 
tirement for the purpose of hard reading ; therefore, 
instead of asking me what I want for dinner every 
day, or disturbing my books or papers, I shall thank 
you to bring up a tray with a fowl, or anything you 
like, exactly at five, and, placing it upon that little 
table, you must, if you please, go out of the room 
again without saying a single word, and when I am 
hungry I will eat." 

Mine hostess looked at me as if she would have 
laughed if she had dared, and I felt somewhat of a 
sort of inclination to join her ; however, I contrived 
to preserve my consequence, and asked, while attempt- 
ing to assume a severe frown, how old she would 
guess me to be. 

"About sixteen or seventeen, Miss." 

" I am almost nineteen, madam," said I, elevating 
my head, with much pride. " You must riot laugh 1 " 
I added, seeing that her risible muscles again ex- 
hibited symptoms of incipient activity, and well they 
might ; for 1 was the most torn-boy, childish-looking 
creature who ever sat down by herself in a large room 
to study the merits of Pitt and Fox ; and, what was 
worse, one of the most perfectly uneducated young 
women of my age that ever went to school ; but then 
my school was only a French convent, where there 
really was nothing which excited in me the slightest 
curiosity after knowledge, and I never learned a 
single lesson by heart in my life, nor I believe ever 
could. The abbess was in despair about me. The 
confessor said, with Fred Bentinck, that I should 
come to no good ; and I played the old nuns so many 
112 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

tricks that they were all frightened to death of 
me. 

Being once more left to myself, I snatched up a 
volume of Shakespeare, pour me d^sennuyer un 
moment, and opened it at this passage, in the tragedy 
of Antony and Cleopatra : 

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, 

Burn'd on the water : the poop was beaten gold ; 

Purple the sails, and so perfumed that 

The winds were love-sick with them ; the oars were silver ; 

Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made 

The water which they beat to follow faster, 

As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, 

It beggar'd all description : she did lie 

In her pavilion (cloth of gold of tissue), 

O'erpicturing that Venus where we see 

The fancy outwork nature : on each side her 

Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids, 

With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem 

To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool, 

And what they undid, did. 

" How beautiful ! " said I, throwing down the book, 
" Can anything be imagined more glowing or more 
animated than this description ! However I came 
here to study and Shakespeare is too amusing to be 
considered study. True I have heard people remark 
that many passages of Shakespeare's writings are 
obscure ; yet it seems to me that all the beauties are 
clear and plain, and the little obscurities not worth 
puzzling about: therefore I'll study history; one 
must know something of that. I'll begin with ancient 
Greece, never mind English history, we can all get 
credit for that." 

The Greeks employed me for two whole days, and 
the Romans six more : I took down notes of what I 
thought most striking. I then read Charles the 
Twelfth, by Voltaire, and liked it less than most 
people do; and then Rousseau's Confessions; then 

i H 113 

PROPERTY OF 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Racine's Tragedies, and afterwards, Boswell's Life 
of Johnson. I allowed myself only ten minutes for 
my dinner. In short, what might I not have read, 
had not I been barbarously interrupted by the whole 
family of the Pitchers, who, having once taken a 
fancy to my society, I had no chance but returning to 
town as fast as possible after a three weeks' residence 
at Salt Hill, during which time I had constantly heard 
from Lord Ponsonby, who was in Ireland ; but hoped 
shortly to join me in town. 

I was soon visited by my dear mother. She wished 
to consult me about what was best to be done to put 
my young sister out of the way of that most profligate 
nobleman, Lord Deerhurst, who was, she said, con- 
tinually watching her in the Park and streets whenever 
she went out. I could hardly believe that anything 
wrong could be meant towards a child scarcely thirteen 
years of age ; but my mother assured me that he had 
been clandestinely writing to her and sending her little 
paltry presents of gilt chains, such as are sold by Jews 
in the streets ; these said trumpery articles being pre- 
sented to my sister Sophia, in old jewel-boxes of Love 
and Wirgman, in order to make it appear to the poor 
child that they were valuable. 

" I see no remedy," said my dear mother, " but 
sending Sophia to some school at a distance ; and I 
hope to obtain her father's consent for that purpose as 
soon as possible. No time is to be lost, Sophia being 
so sly about receiving these things that I only found 
it out by the greatest accident. The last were delivered 
to her by a young friend of hers, quite a child, to 
whom Lord Deerhurst addressed himself, not having 
been able to meet with Sophia lately." 

1 was very much disgusted with this account, and 
quite agreed with my mother that it would be the 
safest plan to send the child away. 

Before she took her leave, she assured me that, if 
possible, Sophia should depart immediately. 

The next day I went to visit Fanny. Colonel 
Armstrong was with her. I allude to the Duke of 
114 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

York's aide-de-camp. The Earl of Bective was also 
there. 

I inquired how Amy went on. 

Sydenham was beginning to consider her evening 
parties rather a bore. Julia, they said, was growing 
more gracious towards George Brummell than Colonel 
Cotton liked. 

Armstrong happening to be disengaged, which was 
seldom the case, proposed our taking Amy, who was 
a great favourite of his, by surprise, in the absence 
of Sydenham, who was at Brighton assisting Lord 
Wellesley to take care of Moll Raffles. 

" Do you propose dining with her ? " said I. 

" Why not ?" inquired Colonel Armstrong. 

" I hope she will treat you better than she does her 
own sisters when we try her pot-luck." 

" I am not at all particular," said Armstrong. 

" I never saw but one man," retorted I, "among all 
Amy's train of admirers, whom she did not contrive 
to cure of their temerity in intruding themselves to 
dinner. The Baron Turtle's ardent love was, for six 
months, proof against Amy's bill of fare. Amy used 
to sit and sit till hunger would not permit her to fast 
any longer, and at last she would say, ' Baron ! I am 
going down to dinner : but I have nothing to offer 
you but a black pudding ! ' ' Note ! ' the Dutchman 
always answered, ' Note 1 noting I like so vel !' " 

" What," said Armstrong, " does she never have 
anything but black pudding ? " 

" Oh ! yes," I replied, " sometimes toad-in-a-hole, 
or hard dumplings ; but black pudding takes the lead." 

Fanny, with all her good nature, began to laugh as 
she related the following little anecdote, which had 
occurred while I was at Salt Hill, apropos to Amy's 
penchant for a black pudding. My little sister Sophia 
had been permitted to go and dine with Amy one day, 
having been particularly invited a week before. Never- 
theless, when she arrived Amy appeared to start as 
though surprised and said, " Oh! by-the-bye, I forgot 
to order my dinner, and my maid and man are both 

115 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

out, with letters and cards of invitations. However I 
can soon manage to get a black pudding broiled. You 
will not mind running to South Audley-street for a 
pound of black pudding ? Shall you, my dear ? " 

" Oh, no!" replied Sophia, reddening up to the eyes 
at the vile proposal, having lately become a coquette, 
from being told that she was an angel, and being really 
a very ladylike girl at all times ; and just now she 
wore her smartest dress. However, she always said 
yes to whatever people asked her, wanting courage or 
character to beg leave to differ from anybody's opinion. 

The said black pudding, then, was put into her hand 
by the vulgar, unfeeling pork-butcher, enveloped only 
by a small bit of the dirty Times newspaper, just 
sufficiently large for her to take hold of it by in the 
middle. 

Sophia, being a remarkably shy, proud girl, felt 
herself ready to sink, as she walked down South 
Audley-street at that very fashionable hour of the 
day, with such a substitute for a reticule flourishing 
quite bare in her hand, as a greasy black pudding ! 
She tried hanging down her arm : but rose it again in 
alarm, lest she should spoil her gay new frock. Then 
a ray of good sense, which shot across her brain, her 
head I mean, induced her with an effort of despera- 
tion to hold the thing naturally, without attempting 
to conceal it ; but, Oh, luckless fate 1 at the very 
moment poor Sophia had obtained this victory over 
her feelings, whom should she bolt against, all on a 
sudden in turning down South-street, but the first 
flatterer and ardent admirer of her young graces, 
Viscount Deerhurst ! 

The black pudding was now huddled up into the 
folds of her new frock : then she rued the day when 
pocket-holes went out of fashion. Deerhurst now, 
holding out his hand to her, her last desperate resource 
was to throw down the vile black pudding as softly as 
possible behind her, and she then shook hands with 
his lordship. 

" Miss ! Miss ! " bawled out, at this instant, a 
116 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

comical-looking, middle-aged Irish labourer, who hap- 
pened to be close behind her, and had picked up the 
delicate morsel, at the instant of its fall. 

Thrusting forward the spectral lump, " Miss ! Miss ! 
how corned you then dear, to let go o' this and never 
miss it ? Be to laying hold of it at this end, honey ! 
It's quite clean, dear, and sure and you need not be 
afear'd to handle it at that same end," added Pat, 
giving it a wipe, with the sleeve of his dirty ragged 
jacket. 

Deerhurst, who it must be allowed possesses a 
great deal of natural humour, could stand this scene 
between Pat and Sophia no longer, and burst into an 
immoderate fit of laughter, while poor Sophia, almost 
black in the face with shame and rage, assured the 
man she had dropped nothing of the sort, and did 
not know what he meant and then she ran away 
so fast that Deerhurst could not overtake her, and 
she got safe home to her mother's, leaving Amy to 
watch at her window the arrival of her favourite 
black pudding. 

Colonel Armstrong was absolutely delighted with 
this account ; but said he should decline her pot-luck, 
as it is vulgarly called. He nevertheless wished us, 
of all things, to accompany him to her house, and 
which we agreed to. 

We found Amy in the act of turning over the 
leaves of Mr. Nugent 's music book, and Mr. Nugent 
singing an Italian air to his own accompaniment, 
ogling Amy to triple time. 

The man commonly called King Allen, now Lord 
Allen, appeared to be only waiting for a pause of 
harmony in order to take his leave. 

" Ha ! How do you do ? " said Amy, and Nugent 
arose to welcome us with his everlasting laugh. 

" Well, Harriette," said Amy, " you are come back, 
are you 1 I have heard that you went into the country 
with your whole library in your carriage, like Dominie 
Sampson ; and, let me see, who was it told me you 
were gone mad ? " 

8 117 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Your new and interesting admirer, his Grace of 
Grafton, perhaps ; for I have heard that he is matter- 
of-fact enough for anything." 

" It is a pity, my dear Harriette, that you continue 
to have such coarse ideas ! " retorted Amy, enfaisant 
la petite bouche, with her usual look of purity, just as 
if she had not been lately receiving the sly hackney 
coach visits of the old beau. 

Armstrong changed the conversation by telling 
Amy that he had some idea of intruding upon her to 
dinner the next day. 

" Oh, I really shall give you a very bad dinner, I 
am afraid," said Amy, having recovered from her 
growing anger towards me, in real alarm. 

" My dear Mrs. Sydenham," replied Colonel Arm- 
strong, earnestly, " I hate apologies, and indeed, am 
a little surprised that you should pay yourself so poor 
a compliment as to imagine for a moment any man 
cared for dinner ; for vile, odious, vulgar dinner in 
your society. Now for my part, I request that 1 may 
find nothing on your table to-morrow, but fish, flesh, 
fowl, vegetables, pastry, fruit and good wine. If you 
get anything more, 1 will never forgive you." 

Amy's large, round eyes opened wider and wider, 
and so did her mouth, as Armstrong proceeded ; and, 
before he had got to the wine, she became absolutely 
speechless with dismay. Armstrong, however, ap- 
peared quite satisfied, remarking carelessly that he 
knew her hour and would not keep her waiting. 

" Is anybody here who can lend me two shillings 
to pay my hackney-coach ? " said Allen. 

"No change," was the general answer; for every- 
body knew King Allen ! 

The beaux having left us, Amy opened her heart, 
and said we might partake of her toad-in-a-hole, if we 
liked ; but that she must leave us the instant after 
dinner. 

" What for ? " Fanny inquired. 

" Nothing wrong," answered Amy, of course. 

" Very little good, I presume," said I, " if we may 
118 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

judge from his appearance ; however," taking up my 
bonnet, " I do not want to run foul of the Duke of 
Grafton, since he votes me mad : " and I took my 
leave. 

The next morning I received a letter from Lord 
Ponsonby to acquaint me that I might expect him in 
town by eight o'clock on the following evening. It 
is not, however, my intention to enter into many 
more minute details relative to my former unfortunate 
passion for Lord Ponsonby. This is not a complete 
confession, like Jean Jacques Rousseau's, but merely 
a few anecdotes of my life, and some light sketches 
of the characters of others, with little regard to dates 
or regularity, written at odd times, in very ill health. 
The only thing I have particularly attended to in this 
little work has been, not to put down one single line 
at all calculated to prejudice any individual, in the 
opinion of the world, which is not strictly correct ; 
and though I have, in writing of people as I have 
found them, only done as I would be done by, and as 
I request my friends will do by me, who never wished 
yet to pass for better than what I really am : yet my 
gratitude has not permitted me to publish even the 
most trifling faults of the few who have acted kindly 
towards me. 

With regard to my sisters, I never had but one, 
and she has ceased to exist, who evinced the least 
regard for me. I am naturally affectionate, and my 
heart was disposed to love them all, till years of total 
neglect have at last compelled me to consider them 
as strangers. Some of them are my enemies. My 
sister Amy ever made it her particular study to 
wound my feelings, and do me all the injury in her 
power; and having occasion, in a moment of the 
deepest distress, to apply to Lady Berwick for a little 
assistance, she refused me a single guinea, notwith- 
standing, in promoting her marriage with Lord 
Berwick, and on various other occasions, I certainly 
did my best, and had done many acts of friendship 
towards her previous to that period. Neither does 

119 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

this want of feeling for me proceed from any ill 
opinion they have formed of my heart or character : 
for, during our dear mother's last illness, Lady Ber- 
wick remained at her country house, in spite of all I 
could say to her in my daily communications, as to 
the immediate danger of that dear parent, and her 
excuse, which she has often expressed, for this heart- 
less conduct was that, since Harriette remained with 
her mother, she felt sure that no care or attention 
would be wanting that anybody could afford her. 
However, it is necessary for the sake of justice to 
relate the good with the bad : thus then, be it known, 
that if Lady Berwick would not come up to town to 
attend the dreary couch of a most tender parent ; she 
wrote to me every day notes of inquiry, nay more, 
she sent fine apples and baskets of grapes from her 
garden up to the hour of my lamented mother's 
death. 

These sketches, or memoirs, or whatever my pub- 
lisher and editor may think proper to designate them, 
for my own part I think it quite tiresome enough 
to write a book as fast as I can scribble it, without 
composing either a preface or a name for it were 
begun several years ago, merely to amuse myself. I 
am now only alluding to a few pages of it, for I soon 
grew tired of my occupation, However, the little I 
had*, done pleased my own acquaintances so much 
that they all advised me to continue. 

The Hon. George Lamb, having been good enough 
to read a comedy which I attempted, was so polite as 
to say, and I have his letter now before me, that 
although it was too long, and deficient in stage-tact, 
there was no lack of wit and native humour about it, 
and further, he thought my talents well calculated 
for writing a light work in the form of either novel 
or sketch-book. He also advised me to put my 
former name of Harriette Wilson to the work, which 
he doubted not would the better ensure its sale. 

Thus, being almost flattered into something like a 
good opinion of myself, I ventured one morning to 
120 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

wrap myself up in my large cloak, and put my little 
unfinished manuscript into my reticule, for I deter- 
mined not to write another page till I had ascertained 
whether it was worth publishing. Thus equipped, I 
ventured in much fear and trembling to wait upon 
the great Mr. Murray, as Lord Byron always satiri- 
cally called him. " He/* thought I, " being the friend 
and publisher of Lord Byron (as Dr. Johnson has it, 
who slays fat oxen, must himself be fat), should be 
wiser than George Lamb or anybody else, except 
Lord Byron alone : therefore I will stand by his 
decree." 

I told Murray that I had so little confidence in 
myself, that I really could not be induced to go on 
with my work till I had obtained his verdict on the 
few pages I ventured to offer for his inspection. 

Murray looked on me with as much contempt as 
though Ass had been written in my countenance. 
Now I know this is not the case. He said, with 
much rudeness, that I might put the manuscript on 
his table and he would look at it, certainly, if I 
desired it. 

I asked when I should send for it. 

" Whenever you please," was his answer ; as though 
he had already recorded his decision against me and 
made his mind up not to look at it. 

I promised to send for it the next evening. I did 
so, and the manuscript was returned without an 
observation. " No doubt," thought I, u it is all non- 
sense. I only wish I was quite sure that he had read 
it ! because else it were really cruel thus to damp a 
beginner who might have done something perhaps, 
with due encouragement. I am almost certain that 
it is trash ; but I will be still more assured, lest the 
mania of scribbling should in some moment of 
poverty attack me again." However, beginning now 
to feel as much contempt for my manuscript as the 
Vicar of Wakefield did for his horse, or as I have 
since felt for the famed Bibliopolist of Albemarle 
Street, notwithstanding his carriage was numbered 

121 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

with those which followed in the funeral procession 
of the lamented Byron, I could not present my 
lucubrations to another publisher as my own : my 
nerves would not permit it, and I therefore offered it 
to Messrs. Allman, of Princes Street, Hanover 
Square, as the first attempt of a young friend of 
mine. I was received by one of those gentlemen 
with much politeness, and was requested to allow 
them four days to send their answer. They fixed 
their time, and I promised to send for my little 
manuscript on the day they appointed. It was sealed 
up, and directed ready for my servant when he called 
for it. The envelope enclosed a few lines from 
Messrs. Allman, stating their readiness to publish 
the work, which they did not consider libellous 
sharing the expenses and the profits with me. 

On the receipt of this note, which I have now in 
my possession, I got into a rage with old purblind 
Murray. "I wish," thought I, "I wish I could make 
rhymes ! I would send him a copy of verses to thank 
him." The worst of it was I had never made a single 
rhyme in my life, and, when I had tried to make two 
lines jingle togther, everybody said they had the 
merit of being infinitely below par ; but even that I 
considered very much better than vile mediocrity in 
poetry. In short there was no rhyme about them 
and very little reason. However, I thought that any- 
thing would do for Murray, who had been so rude to 
me ; therefore, in a few minutes, I managed to com- 
pose and seal up the following state of the case, 
which said composition my reader cannot say I have 
encouraged him to lose time in perusing. 

THE MAIDEN EFFORT OF A VIRGIN MUSK. 

I never thought of turning poet, 
And all my friends about me know it, 
Till t'other day. Til tell you why. 
Alas ! the story makes me sigh ! 
I tried, in prose, a few light sketches, 
Of characters pats, players, and such wretches, 
122 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Which my own folks said were pretty : 

In fact, I thought them downright witty ; 

And, for the good of future ages, 

I sallied forth, with these few pages, 

To a publisher's, in such a hurry, 

As to arrive too soon for that beau-thing, Murray, 

Who coolly kept the lady waiting. 

An old beau must have time for prating. 

At last he came. Oh, mercy ! Oh, my stars ! 

What an appalling beau-costume he wears ! 

A powdered bob, spectacles, and black coat ! 

I wish to heaven I had never wrote ! 

Or ta'en my book, so not here, anywhere, 

Sure this won't do ! The man's a bore or bear ! 

My charms to him were nought : nor my oration : 

But what care I for Murray's admiration ! 

If I had penned some Quarterly cupidity, 

He would have gladly borne with its stupidity. 

" At length, Sir," cried I, in a fuming rage, 

" Pray, just peruse, at least, a single page.'" 

With a most supercilious kind of glance, 

" Hum," drawled out Murray, u you've not the slightest 

chance." 

" Pray, Sir, must one come here in a bob-wig ? " 
Cried I, in my turn, striving to look big ; 
And then went home to mourn my waste of paper, 
Pens, ink, time, and e'en my last wax taper. 
Prosers, methought, require an education ; 
But poets gain, by birth, their own vocation. 

I merely pin it into my manuscript because it is 
ready written, and helps to fill up the book, which, I 
have undertaken for several reasons : first, because I 
hope to get some money by it ; secondly, because a 
certain duke and his son, all ! all ! honourable men, 
and with very honourable titles and ancient names, 
have taken such an unfair advantage of my generous 
treatment of them, that I think they ought to be 
exposed 

Else they will deceive more men. 

123 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

But this is not all. My former errors are well 
known, and, since they have told their story I must 
in justice to myself relate mine. To proceed with it 
in form, I perhaps ought to relate at large all the 
raptures of my meeting with Lord Ponsonby when 
he returned from Ireland, how struck I was with the 
pale cast of thought, which enfeebled the brightness 
of that sweet countenance, only to increase the in- 
terest he previously inspired ; how infinitely his deep 
mourning became him ; how he had loved me for the 
very thing cross Amy had laughed at me, and called 
me Dominie Sampson for ; how he sent me Voltaire's 
tragedy of Zaire, and how delighted he was to find 
that I felt and understood all its beauties ; how he 
one day called me his angelic Harriette ! and further 
declared that, had he known me sooner he would 
never have married any other woman ! How I used 
to fancy I could feel his entrance into his wife's 
private box at the opera, without seeing him, as 
though the air suddenly should become purer ; how 
I have astonished Fanny by guessing the very instant 
of his approach, without looking towards his side of 
the house: how he would watch and follow me in 
my walks ; how he declared that he had never in his 
whole life felt such tenderness of affection for any 
woman on earth, combining all a father ought to feel, 
with the wildest passion his first youth had been 
capable of, with many other matters which it would 
be tedious to write now : but all this love is gone by 
and, for the crime of attaching myself to a married 
man, I have deeply suffered : and all my affections 
are now fixed on another, to whom I am bound for 
life : and, being just about to keep a pig and a few 
chickens, I really cannot mount up the ladder 
again : and, why should I dwell too long on the wild 
romantic follies of my very youthful days ? 

During the three short years our intercourse lasted, 
our passion continued undiminished increase it could 
not. I do in truth believe, though it was a wicked 
thing, no two people on earth ever loved each other 
124 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

better, and the restraint and difficulties we laboured 
under kept our passion alive as it began. Often, 
after passing the early part of the evening together, 
finding it so difficult to separate, we drove down in 
a hackney-coach to the House of Lords, and in that 
coach have I waited half the night merely for one 
more kiss and the pleasure of driving with Ponsonby 
to his own door. 

These three happy years of my life produced very 
few anecdotes, which I can recollect, worth relating ; 
for I had neither eyes nor ears nor thoughts but for 
Ponsonby. The old Scotch beggar woman in the 
park, who had been the cause of my appearing advan- 
tageously to his lordship, was my constant visitor, 
and I contributed to her comforts as far as I could. 
She had once been in very easy circumstances, and 
was then in the habit of receiving every possible 
attention from her kind country-woman Lady 
CottrelL 

The old woman used to come to dine with me in a 
rich brocade silk gown, which stood absolutely alone, 
and once caused my equally stiff, old, powdered foot- 
man to laugh ; but as it was I believe for the first 
time in his life I forgave him. 

Apropos of that same Mr. Will Halliday, who 
though always in print never expected the honour of 
being published, everybody wished to know why I 
kept such a clock-work, stiff, powdered, methodistical 
looking servant, with a pig-tail ; whom one might 
have taken for Wilberforce himself instead of Will 
Halliday, and yet that piece of mechanism, with his 
hair to match, used to steal my wine, as though he 
had forgotten all about his commandments ; and when 
I reproached him with it, he declared that it was 
impossible ; because, to use his own words, " I am the 
most particlerst man as is " ; and, because I preferred 
losing my wine to being talked to, I submitted. 

" Mr. Will/ 1 I used to say, " yes and no are all I 
want to hear from any footman ; if they will say more 
to me than this I shall wait upon myself/ 5 

125 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Will would console himself on these occasions with 
a young companion of mine, while she remained with 
me, whenever he could find her disengaged or she had 
the misfortune to be in the parlour while he was laying 
the cloth. 

"Miss Hawkes," he would begin, to her great 
annoyance, " Miss Hawkes, now you see my missis 
don't like a sarvant to say nothing but yes and no. 
Now sometimes, as I says, Miss Hawkes, yes or no 
won't do for everything. Missis was very angry about 
my speaking yesterday ; but, if I haddunt a told her 
I was the most particlerst man as is she might a thort 
I drinkt her wine, because I keeps the key of the 
cellar: and then again, Miss Hawkes, respecting o' 
my great coat : 1 wants to tell missis, as how it's a 
mile too wide in the back ; for you see Miss, Missis 
don't observe them ere things. Will you be so good, 
Miss, as to mention that I wants to show her how my 
great coat sets behind ? " 

" I will go and tell her directly," said Miss Hawkes, 
delighted with an excuse to get away. 

" Well then/' said 1, in answer to what Miss Hawkes 
told me, " I will look at the man's coat after dinner, 
only I 'am sure I shall laugh if he is to walk about 
the room, sporting his beautiful shape." 

Having thus, for once, given Will liberty of speech, 
I was in dread of its consequences at dinner-time. 
As soon as he had withdrawn the cloth and placed 
the dessert upon the table, he began to cough and 
place himself in an attitude of preparation. " Now 
it is coming ! " thought I, and I saw Miss Hawkes 
striving to restrain her inclination to laugh out loud, 
with all her might. 

Will began sheepishly, with his eyes and his fingers 
fidgeting on the back of a chair ; but he grew in 
height, and in consequence, as he went on. " 1 was 
a saying to Miss Hawkes, madam, that, respecting o' 
your commands, that yes and no wont do for every- 
thing. Now ma'am respecting o' my great coat " 

" You had better put it on, William," said I, hold- 
126 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

ing down my head that I might not look at Miss 
Hawkes. 

" Yes, ma'am ; sartanly ma'am," said Will, bustling 
out of the room, and returning in an instant equipped 
in a drab great coat, so very large behind, that it made 
him look deformed ; but did not, in the least, alter 
his usual way of strutting about the room, like a 
player, 

Whose conceit 

Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich, 
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound, 
"Twixt his stretched footing and the scaffoldage. 

So, between my horror of making free with John 
Bull, and my wish to laugh at my footman, I was in 
perfect misery. 

" Take it off, William," said I, faintly, and without 
venturing to raise my head, feeling that another 
glance at Will, eyeing his person all over, with his 
sharp little, ferret-eyes, would have finished me. 
" Take it off, and carry it to the tailor's." 

But Will, having once received a carte blanche for 
more than his usual yes and no, was not so easily 
quieted. 

" Thank you, ma'am, you are very good ma'am. I'll 
step down to-night, with it ; for the other evening, 
ma'am, when you sent me to carry back that ere 
pheasant, my Lord Lowther's servant brought you 
I says, says I, to Sally, 4 as it is such a wet night 
Sally, I wont put on my laced hat,' so I claps on an 
old plain one; and, when I corned to St. James's 
Street, there was a bit of a row with some of they 
there nasty women at the corner, and, you see, ma'am, 
this ere coat, sticking out, in this ere kind of a way 
behind, and with that large cane of mine, there was a 
man, says he, to me, ' Here, watchman ! why dont you 
do your duty ? ' " 

It was now all over with our dignities. Will, in 
finishing his pathetic speech, appeared almost on the 
point of shedding tears. We both, in the same iri- 

127 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

slant, burst into an immoderate fit of loud laughter, 
when Will had the good sense to leave us. 

The next day Fanny, Miss Hawkes, and myself 
drove into Hyde Park. We there met Sophia, with 
her eldest sister, looking very pretty, and above all 
very modest. My carriage was soon surrounded by 
trotting beaux, whom I could not listen to, because 
that adored, sly, beautiful face of Ponsonby's was 
fixed on me, a la distance. With all my rudeness 
and inattention I could not get rid of Lord Frederick 
Beauclerc. The rest went round to Fanny's side. 
This was better than going over to the enemy. 
Ponsonby knew me and himself too well to be 
jealous ; but, not daring to speak to me or hear what 
I said, he looked unhappy, as I guessed, at his friend^ 
Fred Beauclerc's persevering attention ; and I pro- 
posed to Fanny that we should take a drive down 
Pall Mall. 

" Is that Mr. Frederick Lamb's ghost ? " said 
Fanny. 

" Where do you mean ? " 1 inquired, and turning 
my head round, indeed saw Fred Lamb, who had, I 
believe, just returned from abroad. He blushed a 
little, and ordering iny coachman to stop, told me 
that I looked remarkably well and that he knew all 
about me. 

" So you have cut poor Argyle, and are in love 
again with a man of my acquaintance ? " he con- 
tinued. 

" You are mistaken," said 1, reddening. 

" It may be so," rejoined Fred, " but I rather think 
I am right." 

I shook hands with him, and hoped we were parting 
good friends. 

" I say, Miss Hawkes," said Will Halliday, in the 
course of the evening, after we got home, for he 
generally contrived to dcdommager himself, for the 
silence I imposed on him, by forcing a few words on 
Miss Hawkes' attention " If we had a gone a little 
128 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

furder down Pall Mall to-day, we should a seen that 
ere Prince Coburg." 

"Really!" 

" Yes, Miss : but, laws ! Miss, do you know he 
was nothing in his own country, and had nothing but 
a small principality." 

About ten o'clock in the evening, when Miss 
Hawkes had retired to rest, and I was sitting alone 
with my book, Fred Lamb was announced to me. I 
desired William to say that it was rather too late, 
and that I was shortly going to bed. 

He returned to inform me that Mr. Lamb knew I 
never went to bed before midnight, and therefore 
begged I would permit him to chat with me for half 
an hour, so, feeling puzzled how to excuse myself, he 
was desired to walk upstairs. 

He talked to me for more than an hour, of Argyle, 
Lord Ponsonby, and his own former affection for me. 
He then became a little more practical than I liked, 
first taking hold of my hand, and next kissing me by 
force. I resisted all his attempts with mild firmness. 
At last he grew desperate, and proceeded to very 
rough, I may say, brutal violence, against my fixed 
determination. I was never very strong ; but love 
gave me almost supernatural powers to repel him ; 
and I contrived to pull his hair with such violence, 
that some of it was really dragged out by the roots. 

Fred Lamb was not of a mild or patient temper. 
In a moment of disappointment and fury at the pain 
I must have inflicted on him, though it was certainly 
done only in self-defence, he placed bis hand on my 
throat, saying, while he nearly stopped my breath, 
and occasioned me almost the pangs of suffocation, 
that I should not hurt him another instant. He 
spoke this in a smothered voice, and I did in truth 
believe that my last moments had arrived. Another 
instant would have decided the business; but he, 
thank God, relinquished his grasp at my throat He 
is however mistaken if he believes I have ever for- 
gotten the agony of that moment He arose from 

i i 129 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

the sofa. His rage, I fancy, being converted into 
shame and fear of what I might tell the world, or, 
perhaps, he was really shocked at the violence which 
he had been guilty of. It may easily be imagined 
that once free from so frightful a grasper of throats, 
I was not long in obtaining my room upstairs and 
double-locking my door. Fred Lamb did not attempt 
to speak to, much less detain me, and in a very few 
minutes afterwards I heard him leave the house. 

" Thank God ! " I ejaculated, from the very bottom 
of my heart; and I began to breathe more freely 
although I was some time before I recovered mv 
fright. 

Fred Lamb was a man of the world, and the next 
day he no doubt said to himself " this is a bad story, 
both for my vanity and my character: for I have 
been very brutal. The best way now will be for me 
to tell it first to all her friends " ; and he accordingly 
went about making light of the story, as though he 
had not any reason to be ashamed. 

" Do you know," said he, to several of my acquaint- 
ances, who afterwards repeated it, " do you know that 
Harriette is so in love with John Ponsonby, that she 
was cruel even to me last night ! I tried force too ; 
but she resisted me like a little tiger, and pulled my 
hair 1 " 

" Be it so," thought I, and I never told the story, 
till now. In fact, 1 was a good deal afraid of Fred 
Lamb at that time, and could not but feel provoked 
at the idea of a young man going about the world, 
always laughing, and showing off the character of a 
fine, good-tempered, open-hearted, easy, generous, 
sailor-like fellow, and who yet could take me from a 
rich man, to leave me starving at Somers-town as he 
had done, without once making me the offer of a 
single shilling, and then return to me, as though all 
this selfishness had secured him a right over my per- 
son, to persecute me with brutal force and lay hold of 
my throat, so as to put me in fear of my life, because 
I was not his humble slave any day in any week he 
130 J 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

happened to return from the Continent: and I am 
sure Mr. Frederick Lamb cannot assert that, on the 
day I believed he meant to have been my last, he had 
ever given me one single guinea or the value of a 
guinea. 

He is now an ambassador, and just as well off as 
ambassadors usually are ; yet, in my present poverty, 
I have vainly attempted to get a hundred pounds out 
of him. He has occasionally indeed sent me ten or 
five pounds ; but not without much pressing, and he 
has not yet paid my expenses to Hull and back. 

So much for the high-spirited Fred Lamb ! With 
his brother George I have only a very slight acquaint 
ance; but am much indebted for the very polite, 
friendly and condescending interest that gentleman 
has been pleased to take in my welfare. 



181 



CHAPTER VIII 

ABOUT this time, I received a letter from Sir William 
Abdy, beginning thus : 

" DEAR, PRETTY Miss WILSON, 

" You told me to be sure and write. 

" I am a good deal better for the journey, though 
I have not seen anybody so pretty as you, since I 
left you. . . ." 

The rest of this eloquent epistle may be dispensed 
with. 

Lord Ponsonby often rated me about Lord F. 
Beauclerc, his relation, whom he always called Fred 
Diamond Eye ; and Fred Beauclerc was continually 
teasing- me about Ponsonby. I assured him that it 
was all nonsense. 

" I know better," Fred Beauclerc would answer, 
" and yet I am fool enough to love a woman who is 
going mad for another man. However, if I get well 
over this folly, I will for the rest of my life reign lord 
paramount or nothing." 

His lordship really loved me, and above all he 
loved my foot. I was never in his opinion assez bien 
chaussde ; therefore, he used to go about town with 
one of my shoes in his pocket, as a pattern to guide 
him in his constant search after pretty shoes for me. 

Fred Beauclerc is a sly, shy, odd man, not very 
communicative, unless one talks about cricket. I 
remember when the Marquis of Wellesley did me 
the honour to call on me and tell me what a great 
man he was, and how much he had been talked of in 
132 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

the world how often carried on men's shoulders 
without nags, with other reminiscences of equal in- 
terest, Fred Beauclerc, the Diamond Eye, cut me 
for Moll Raffles. I accused him of it, laughing, and 
he laughingly acknowledged the intrigue. 

" I could not endure the idea of your receiving that 
vain old fool, Lord Wellesley," said Beauclerc. 

" No harm, believe me 1 " I replied. " Mere curiosity 
induced me to have the man up, to see if he was like 
his brother; but you are very welcome to Mrs. Raffles ; 
shell make an excellent wife to a divine. Not that 
I know or care anything about the lady ! " 

" And what think you of Wellesley ? said the little 
parson. 

** Why, I suppose I must either say he is clever 
and brilliant or be called a fool myself; so, instead of 
answering your question, I'll tell you what he says to 
me to-morrow, after I shall have acquainted him with 
your intrigue with his belle amie Raffles." 

" You are not serious ? " said the good clergyman, 
in a great fright. 

" Yes, I am quite serious I assure you." 

" What ! You spoilsport ! You make mischief ! 
1 would not have believed this of you." 

" You only do me justice but I will tell notwith- 
standing : and if I either spoil your intrigue, or do 
mischief to anybody except the noble marquess, never 
forgive me." 

" I never will," said Beauclerc seriously, and so we 
parted. 

In the evening a remarkably fine-looking man 
requested to speak to me, from the Marquis of 
Wellesley. He wore a large brilliant on the third 
finger of his very white hand and was peculiarly 
elegant in his dress. I offered him a chair with much 
politeness, feeling really something like respect for 
Lord Wellesley's good taste in sending me such an 
amiable substitute for a little grey-headed, foolish 
old man. The gentleman bowed low and refused to 
sit. He told me that he came from the Marquis of 

133 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Wellesley merely to say, that, if I were disengaged, 
he would have the pleasure of calling on me in less 
than an hour. 

" Cest son valet, sans doute" thought I : and sent 
my compliments to Lord Wellesley. 

Wellesley 's carriage drove up to my door in less 
than an hour after his gentleman had left me. His 
lordship appeared the very essence of everything most 
recherche, in superfine elegance. He was in fact all 
essence ! Such cambric, white as driven snow ! Such 
embroidery! Such diamonds ! Such a brilliant snuff- 
box ! Such seals and chain ! And then, the pretty 
contrast between the broad, new, blue ribbon across 
his breast, and his delicate white waistcoat ! 

It was too much, too overpowering for a poor, 
honest unaffected Suissess like me: and I almost 
wished myself safe in my Canton de Berne ; for never 
before stood I in such presence, nor breathed I in 
such essence ! What a pretty little thing too it 
would be, methought, if it were but once deposited 
unhurt in one's bonnet-box, and one could shut him 
down whenever the essence became too strong for 
one's nerves. It was a graceful thing too in minia- 
ture, and its countenance was good and its speech 
was all honey, until I very quietly and very uncere- 
moniously mentioned the worthy clergyman having 
passed the whole of the night preceding with Moll 
Raffles, consoling her, en pretre, for his lordship's 
absence. 

His lordship now asked me, in a voice trembling 
more with agitation than age, or rage, what 1 meant ? 

" Simply, what I have stated." 

" Merciful powers ! what do you say ? what do you 
mean ? what do you hint at ? what do you think ? 
what are you doing ? " If his lordship's want of breath 
had not given a momentary check to his volubility 
and proved a kind of turnpike in his rapid course, 
and if I had not caught the critical opportunity to 
say 

" Nothing your fair friend must do for us both " 
134 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

I have little doubt that the little marquis must 
and would have fallen a victim to exhaustion : but 
thus, having happily had a moment to recover him- 
self, he proceeded, 

" Nay, nay, nay," and laying his white hand, rings 
and all, on my shoulder, in much tribulation and 
hurry of speech and manner, " Nay think of what 
you are saying think how you may be injuring that 
lovely sweet being that sweetest unsophisticated ! 
lovely 1 sweet ! " 

" Oh, what a bed of sweets, yours must be ! " 
interrupted I. 

" I know well enough," continued Wellesley, pacing 
up and down the room with a feverish rapidity. "I 
know she went to Vauxhall with Beauclerc; but 
then she told me there was nothing in all this." 

" Poor Beauclerc I" ejaculated I; "and what can 
his lordship do better than attend so sweet a creature ? 
Come, come," 1 continued, " my lord ! Mrs. Raffles 
is rich, and can do without you, kindly assisted as she 
is by the little parson ! Don't fret for her, nor for 
yourself ; but, if you still love her, receive her from 
the hands of the good clergyman/' 

" Impossible ! " Wellesley exclaimed. " I must 
reproach her with her faults, and then she will throw 
the plates and dishes in my face ! " 

" No ! Would she be so vulgar ? " 

" It is not vulgarity in her," said Wellesley. 

< What then?" 

" Nature," was his reply. 

" Well then, since it is natural to break your head, 
which fact I do not in the least dispute, may it not be 
as natural to adorn it occasionally ? and may it not 
be her nature to intrigue with Fred Beauclerc ? Do 
not think about it my lord. Make yourself happy 
and comfortable, and " 

Wellesley took up his hat and ran downstairs. I 
followed him, laughing loudly till he got into his 
carriage. 

Beauclerc was in due time tired of his bonne for- 

135 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

tune, and this gave Wellesley the delicious oppor- 
tunity of pressing his charmer to his faithful and 
doting heart with renovated rapture. 

La Belle Nature ! 

About this time, or else some other time, a Mr. 
Something-doff was presented to me, hot from 
Russia. I forgot the beginning of his name. I re- 
collect that he brought, at the ends of his fingers, a 
very odd waltz, which seemed to have been composed 
on purpose to warm them. I asked him, since he 
was on the Emperor's staff, if he had met with the 
General Beckendorff. 

" Oh, yes ! " answered he, laughing, " Beckendorff 
is my particular friend. He wanted to come to 
England with me ; but he assured me he had made 
such a fool of himself about a woman here, Amy, I 
think, he called her, that he was ashamed to show 
his face within a thousand miles of herself or her 
friends." 

And now my gentle readers : by-the-by, I have no 
idea why they are so denominated ; or why authors, 
and good ones too, even Lady Morgan at the begin- 
ning, she is too great a swell now I only make use 
of that. elegant expression in humble imitation of 
Lord Clanricarde once prosed a great deal about her 
gratitude for the kind encouragement and indulgence 
of the public ; why in the name of common sense 
will authors be so very palpably false in what they 
profess ? 

Does not Lady Morgan know as well as I do, that 
the public never yet read one line out of charity 
towards her or any author breathing since the world 
began, nor does the kind public ever prize anything 
which bores them: so that, if the kind public were to 
cry up my book from morning till night, and suffer 
me to make my fortune by it, I should feel no more 
obliged to them than if my volumes kept their 
station on the shelves of Mr. Stockdale's spacious 
library, as regularly in a row as the apothecary's 
gallipots in the Honey Moon; but just the contrary. 
136 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

If I have the knack to amuse the public, I shall 
expect the public to be extremely grateful to me, 
and I desire that they sing my praise in prose and 
also in better rhymes than mine, to the end of their 
natural life ! True, Doctor Johnson and many other 
good men, declare that merit is due to such authors 
as do their best, even when they fail ; but what is the 
use of its being due since nobody pays ! What is an 
author, or anybody else the better for having a parcel 
of bad debts on his ledger ? The good Doctor seems 
really to be giving Lady Morgan, as well as poor 
Harriette, a rap on the knuckles, when he says, " No 
vanity can more justly incur contempt and indig- 
nation, than that which boasts of negligence and 
hurry." For who can bear with patience, the writer 
who claims such superiority to the rest of his species 
as to imagine mankind are at leisure for attention to 
his extemporary sallies. Now, for my part, I do not 
expect any persons to exercise their patience in bear- 
ing with me, being as morally certain as I am of my 
existence, that these, my temporory sallies, like other 
people's studied stupidity, will be equally unenter- 
taining, without more regard or respect for the one 
than the other. In short, whatever contempt my 
vanity may incur in writing these few sketches thus 
easily, and without tormenting myself with quotations 
and deep cogitations, I shall beg to lay all the blame 
entirely on Stockdale, especially as he has just handed 
me a quotation from Cumberland, as he styles it, 
though I am not without suspicion that he had a 
hand in it himself. 

As for our readers, on whom we never fail to bestow 
the terms of " candid," "gentle," "courteous," and 
others of the like soothing cast, they certainly deserve 
all the fair words we can give them ; for it is not to 
be denied, but that we make occasionally very great 
demands upon their candour, gentleness, and courtesy, 
exercising them frequently and fully with such trials 
as require those several endowments in no small 
proportion. 

137 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

But are there not also fastidious, angry, querulential 
readers ? Readers with full stomachs, who complain 
of being surfeited and overloaded with the story- 
telling trash of our circulating libraries ? It cannot 
be altogether denied : but still they are readers ; if the 
load is so heavy upon them as they pretend it is, I will 
put them in the way of getting rid of it by reviving 
the law of the ancient Cecerteans, who obliged their 
artists to hawk about their several wares, carrying them 
on their backs till they found purchasers to ease them 
of the burden. Was this law put in force against 
authors few of us, I doubt, would be found able to 
stand under the weight of our own unpurchased works. 

Now, gentle readers, after this long digression, you 
shall hear of the shocking seduction of the present 
Viscountess Berwick by Viscount Deerhurst 1 

" She is off! Sophia is off I run away nobody knows 
where," was the cry of all my sisters one fine morning. 

" When, how, where ? " said 1. 

" Last night," answered Fanny, " she was missing. 
Her father has been to call on Lord Deerhurst : 
answer, ' nobody in town.' My mother is coming to 
consult with you." 

I waited for no more ; but sat down to address 
Lord Deerhurst, begging him to consider the risk he 
ran in detaining such a child. I asserted the deter- 
mination of my father to put in force the utmost 
rigour of the law ; and I implored him, if he was not 
really dead to shame and all the best feelings of a 
man, to repair his fault, by bringing Sophia back to 
me immediately. 

That prince of hypocrites, having forcibly obtained 
all he wished, and in hopes that this would be the 
cheapest way of getting rid of the business, made a 
great merit of bringing her back to my house, being, 
as he said, touched even to tears by my letter, and 
the monster began to blubber and declared that 
nothing wrong had occurred, he having passed the 
night with Sophia in mere conversation. 
138 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

The poor child looked dreadfully frightened, It is 
indeed my firm belief that she went away with Lord 
Deerhurst, being innocent as an infant as to the 
nature of seduction and its consequence. All she 
was blameable for was her obstinate boldness in per- 
sisting, while so very young, and with that very 
innocent face of hers, in keeping up a sly intercourse 
with a man like Lord Deerhurst, and throwing her- 
self under his protection, at an age when girls less 
shy-looking had been afraid to have listened or spoken 
to any man, unsanctioned by the presence of their 
mother or sister. 

Sophia was a child, and not a very clever one ; but 
she went away willingly and immediately after both 
her mother and myself had represented the striking 
profligacy and disgusting meanness of Lord Deerhurst, 
in passing off trumpery chains and rings for valuable 
jewellery. The child who could forsake her parents 
for such a man as Deerhurst, in spite of every caution, 
must have been either very vicious or the greatest 
simpleton on earth. 

The poor foolish girl was now kept out of every 
one's sight, and applications were made to Deerhurst 
for a provision for her, with a threat of law proceed- 
ings in case of refusal. 

It seems that the only legal plea for obtaining a 
provision for a girl thus unfortunately situated is 
that of the parents having lost her domestic services. 
Deerhurst after some months at the last said that, 
if Sophia remained with him, he would settle three 
hundred pounds a-year on her, as long as no proof 
of inconstancy to him should be established against 
her ; but, on such an event taking place, the annuity 
was to be reduced to an allowance of one hundred 
a-year. 

I saw that Sophia was growing idle, and much 
more likely to get into worse scrapes than to reform : 
therefore, having tried the generosity and honour 
of men myself, 1 advised her to secure the annuity 

at any rate. Deerhurst employed a of a 

139 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

lawyer to draw up a settlement, according to the 
above plan, and in about ten months after his lord- 
ship first seduced Sophia, he hired a very miserable 
lodging for her. consisting of two small dark 
parlours near Grosvenor-place ; but then, to make 
her amends, he sent her in six bottles of red 
currant-wine, declaring to her that such wine was 
much more conducive to health than any foreign 
wine could possibly be. Here we must leave her 
for a short time, while I return to my own house 
to learn of Will Halliday who had called on me in 
my absence. These were a gentleman who would 
not leave his name and a tradesman of the name of 
Smith : both were to return in the evening. 

"Very well," I said, "let Smith come upstairs; 
but be sure to send away the man who is ashamed 
of his name." 

After dinner Will told me that the strange 
gentleman begged to be allowed to speak to my 
femme-de-chambre, Mrs. Kennedy. 

I desired Kennedy to attend him. 

She returned to say that the gentleman sent me 
word, in confidence, that he was Lord Scarborough, 
who had been so long and so very desirous to make 
my acquaintance and regretted the impossibility of 
getting presented, since he was not a single man. 

" Go, and tell him," I answered, " that the thing is 
quite impossible, more men being regularly introduced 
to me by others, and of the first respectability, than I 
liked." 

He entreated Kennedy to come up to me again. 
She declared that she could not take such a liberty 
with me. Lord Scarborough having, as she after- 
wards confessed, softened her heart by a five-pound 
note, induced her to carry me up his watch with his 
arms on the seal, that 1 might be certain who he was. 

I was in a great passion with Kennedy, and down 
she went declaring she had lost her place. 

I rang the bell, it having just struck me, that the 
man ought to pay for putting me in a passion, and 
140 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

giving us all this trouble ; therefore, " Tell him," 1 
said, when Kennedy returned, " that a fifty-pound note 
will do as a regular introduction and, if he leaves it 
to-night, I will receive him to-morrow at ten." 

He hesitated wished he could only just speak to 
me, and give me the draft himself. 

" Do as you like," Kennedy replied. " Miss Wilson 
is not at all anxious for you or your fifty pounds ; but 
she has company and will not be disturbed to-night." 

" Well," said my lord, I think you look like an 
honest, good sort of woman, who will not deceive 
me." 

" Never," said Kennedy, with earnestness, and he 
wrote a draft for me for fifty pounds, begging she 
would herself be at hand to let him in when he should 
arrive, the next night. " I will be very punctual," 
continued his lordship. 

" So will I too," repeated Kennedy ; " I will wait 
for you in the passage:" and with this they took 
leave ; and I immediately rang my bell for Will 
Halliday. 

" William," said I, " that gentleman will be here at 
ten to-morrow, and he will probably again ask for 
Kennedy. Can you look quite serious and declare to 
him you never heard of such a person ? " 

" As grave as I do now, ma'am." 

" Very well, that is quite enough ; but he will no 
doubt proceed to ask for me by my name. Can you 
still be serious, while declaring that you have no 
mistress, and that your master is you know well 
acquainted both with his lordship and his lady wife ?" 

" Most certainly, ma'am," said Will, as seriously as 
though he had been at vespers, " I will just clap your 
directions down in my pocket-book, so you need not 
be afraid of me, ma'am ; because you see, as I told 
you before, I'm the most particlerst man as is." 

" But suppose he insists, William ? " 

" Oh, ma'am ! I'll tell him I've got my knives to 
clean, and shut the door very gently in his face." 

" Thank you, William, I shall feel obliged to you." 

141 



MEMOIRS OF HARUIETTE WILSON 

Smith, the haberdasher of Oxford-street, was the 
next person announced to me, and he followed 
William into the drawing-room. He is a short, 
thick-built man, with little twinkling eyes, expressive 
of eager curiosity, and a bald head. This man had 
known me when I was quite an infant, having served 
my mother I believe before I was born, and often 
talked and played with us all while children. As 1 
grew up, his extreme vulgarity, and the amorous 
twinkle of his little eyes, furnished me with so much 
real sport and amusement, that, in gratitude for his 
being so very ridiculous, I had by degrees lost sight 
of all my usual reserve towards these sort of people : 
and once, when I was about eleven years of age, this 
man caught me in the very act of mimicking his 
amorous leers at our maidservant. I was close behind 
him and he saw me in the looking-glass. 

" Oh you rogue ! " said Smith, and from that day 
good-bye all serious reserve between Smith and me. 
I would have cut him, only nobody sold such good 
gloves and ribbons. I often took people to his 
shop to amuse them, while I encouraged Smith 
to be as ridiculous as possible, by affecting to be 
rather flattered by his beautiful leering and his soft 
speeches. 

Smith was as deaf as a post, and never spoke with- 
out popping his ear against one's mouth, to catch the 
answer, and saying, " Hay ! Hay ! " long before one s 
lips could move to address him. 

I guessed at the motive for his visiting me on this 
occasion, for I knew that two of my promissory notes 
of hand for fifty pounds each had been returned to 
him on that morning, as they had also been three 
months before, when I made him renew them. Not 
that I was in any sort of difficulty during the whole 
period I remained with Lord Ponsonby, who always 
took care of me and for me ; but Smith s scolding 
furnished me with so much entertainment, that I 
purposely neglected his bills, knowing his high 
charges and how well he could afford to give 
142 a 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

credit. He came into the room, with a firmer step 
than usual and his bow was more stately. 

" Your sarvant, Miss." 

" Smith," said I, " those bills were paid to-day, I 
hope?" r * 

Smith shook his head. "Too bad, too bad, Miss, 
upon my word ! " 

I laughed. 

. " You are a pretty creature ! " said Smith, drawing 
in his breath, his amorous feelings for an instant 
driving the bills out of his head, and then added 
hastily, with an altered expression of countenance, 
" But you really must pay your bills ! " 

" You don't say so ? " 

" If," continued Smith earnestly ; " if you had but 
ha' let me ha knode, you see ; but, in this way, you 
hurt my credit in the City." 

"What signifies having credit, in such a vulgar 
place as that?" 

"You talk like a child," exclaimed Smith im- 
patiently. 

"Come," said I to Smith, "hand out your stamps." 

" And Miss, do you expect me to find you in 
stamps too ? " 

1 laughed. 

" But," continued Smith, growing enthusiastic all 
at once," you look so beautiful and charming in your 
little blue satin dress. You bought that satin of me 
I think? Ah, yes, 1 remember you do look so 
pretty, and so tempting, and so, so oh Lord." 

" Mr. Smith, I really will speak to Mrs. Smith, if 
you will go into these sort of raptures." 

" Beg you pardon, beg your pardon ! Have got a 
curious little article here to show you " (pulling some- 
thing from his breeches pocket, which proved to be 
some embroidered, covered buttons). "Beg your 
pardon, but, bless you 1 You are so well made you 
see, about here " touching his own breast. " There 
is never a one of your sisters like you, about here. I 
always said it. Hay ? hay ? I was a saying so, you 

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MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

see, to my young man yesterday when you came into 
the shop. Now, there's Miss Sophy, pretty creature 
too ! very, but, Oh, Lord ! you beat them all, just 
about here." 

" Mr. Smith, I really must send a note to your 
wife to-morrow." 

" Oh, no ! I am sure you wont. You would not 
be so hard-hearted." He then proceeded, in a whisper, 
" The fact is, there's never a man in England as don't 
have a bit of frolic ; only they doesn't know it you 
see. Pretty hair ! " 

" Mr. Smith, if you meddle with my hair, I shall 
seriously be angry, and ring for my servant." 

" Beg pardon. Thousands of pardons It's the 
worst of me, I'm so imperdent, you see 1 can't help 
it been so from child never could keep my hands 
off a fine woman 1 and Mrs. Smith is confined, you 
see : that's one thing ! Hay ? Hay ? but it shan't 
happen again. Now about those here bills ? If I 
draw you up two more, now, will you really give me 
your word they shall be paid ? " 

" No," answered I. 

"You wont?" 

"No!" 

" Then I'll tell you what, Miss 1 I can't say as 
you treat me exactly like a lady, and now don't 
laugh oh, you sly, pretty rogue ! Hay ? Hay ? Beg 
pardon it's my own fault, you see. So very im- 
perdent ! Come, I'll draw up these here bills." 

He began writing, and I laughed at him again. 
He shook his head at me. " Sad doings, Miss, these 
here bills being returned." 

"It's the worst of me," said I, mimicking his 
manner. " It's the worst of me, that I never do pay 
my bills. Have been so from a child ! " 

Lord Ponsonby's well-known rap at the door occa- 
sioned Smith to be bundled into the street, bills and 
all, without the slightest ceremony. 

I have, I believe, already said that I would not 
dwell much on that period of my life, which I passed 
144 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

so happily with Lord Ponsonby and which lasted, I 
think, three years. Lord Rivers used to say to me, 
" Your little light feet seem scarcely to touch the 
earth, as though you could almost fly !" 

Happiness is a stupid subject to write upon, there- 
fore I will revert to that of the present Lady Berwick, 
whom I often visited after she took possession of the 
poor humble lodging which Deerhurst's parsimony 
had provided for her. First, however, the respect I 
feel for the memory of a most tender parent, makes 
me anxious that she should be acquitted from every 
shadow of blame which might, by some perhaps, be 
imputed to her, in consequence of her daughters' 
errors and the life they fell into. 

My mother was a natural daughter of a country 
gentleman, of great respectability and good estate, 
Mr. Cheney. His only son, General Cheney, was an 
old guardsman, and died some few years ago. The 
late Lady Frederick Campbell, aunt of his grace the 
Duke of Argyle, was so struck with the beauty of my 
mother as to adopt her and bring her up as her own 
child. After her marriage, her ladyship still continued 
her friendship and, indeed, almost up to the time of 
the very lamented death of that amiable lady. 

I remember the ceremony of our being all dressed 
up in our best frocks to go out of town and pass the 
day with her ladyship, who was kind enough to stand 
godmother to my eldest sister. My mother was the 
most beautiful woman, and possessed the finest and 
most benevolent countenance, I have ever seen in my 
whole life. Her education had been carefully attended 
to by Lady Frederick, and she possessed a most 
excellent understanding : but, marrying so very young 
a man more than twenty years her senior, and being 
remarkably meek and gentle, she acquired such a 
habit of blind submission to his will, that at home she 
was more like our sister than our parent. She was 
powerless to contribute either to our good or our 
comfort in any one thing which did not suit my 
father's humour. Having no fortune to bestow on 

i K 145 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

us, she gave us the best education in her power ; and, 
what ought to have done us still more good, she ever 
set us the very best example ; for she was not only 
virtuous, but patient, industrious, and invariably 
amiable in her temper. She was the mother of fifteen 
children, when she died lamented and respected by 
every one who knew her. 

Our home was truly uncomfortable ; but my dearest 
mother ever made it the study of her life to contribute 
to the ease and welfare of her family. 

This, as I have said before, is not a complete con- 
fession ; but nothing is stated of consequence to any 
individual which is not strictly true. 

When I called on Sophia I generally found two or 
three beaux talking nonsense to her. Among them, 
Henry De Roos was the most favoured. Sophia 
appeared to dislike Lord Deerhurst of all things, and 
complained that he was unusually sparing of soap and 
water at his toilette. 

" He dresses completely," said Sophia, " before he 
touches water ; and, being equipped, he wets a very 
dirty hair-brush and draws it over his head ; and this 
is what he calls washing it and then, having thus 
washed -his hands and face, he says that he feels fresh 
and comfortable." 

One day Deerhurst insisted on my accompanying 
him and Sophia in his curricle, to go out of town 
somewhere to dinner. 

" Three in a curricle ? " said Sophia. 

" Oh, it is no matter at this time of the year ; " 
Deerhurst replied. 

I inquired where we should dine. 

Deerhurst named some small place about eight 
miles from town, but I have forgotten what he called 
it. He took us to a common village pot-house, where 
nothing could be put on the table besides fried eggs 
and bacon. 

"Most excellent!" exclaimed Deerhurst, "an 
exquisite dish and so very rural ! " 

Our rural dinner was soon despatched ; and, as I 
146 



MEMOIRS OF HARR1ETTE WILSON 

could not endure the strong smell of tobacco, which 
issued in copious fumes from the tap-room, I proposed 
returning to town as fast as possible. 

Sophia, who always agreed with everybody, was 
asked first by Deerhurst if eggs and bacon were not 
a delightful dish. 

She answered, " Very much so indeed." 

I then asked her if it were not enough to make us 
sick on such a hot day. 

To which her reply was, " I am quite sick already." 

In coming home, Deerhurst put his horses all at 
once into a full gallop as we drew near the turnpike, 
bent on the noble triumph of cheating I will not use 
the technical word the man of twopence ! The lord 
of the gate, in a fury ran after Deerhurst and with 
some difficulty contrived to catch hold of his whip. 

" Let go my whip ! " vociferated Deerhurst. 

"You sneaking b kg d!" said the man, still 
holding fast by one end of the whip, " this is not the 
first time you have attempted to cheat me." 

" Let go my whip, and be d d to you ! " bawled 
Deerhurst. 

The man however refused and in the struggle it 
was broken. 

"Now d n your soul," said Deerhurst, darting 
from the curricle without the least regard to our 
fears, and leaving us to manage two spirited horses 
how we could. In an instant he had stripped off his 
coat and was hard at it with the fat, dirty turnpike- 
man. 

" Oh 1 " ejaculated 1, in despair, " that ever I should 
have ventured out in such disgusting society ! " 

" Very disgusting indeed," echoed Sophia. 

Once Deerhurst was down ; but we soon discovered 
that the fat turnpike-man was undermost, and, " Go 
it, my lord 1 you a lord ? a rum lord ! " burst from a 
Babel-like confused world of voices. 

The Honourable Arthur Upton happened to be 
passing at this moment. I called out to him by his 
name, and he came up to the curricle. I told him 

147 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

that we were frightened almost to death at the scene 
which presented itself, and our peculiar situation, 
having no proper dresses nor shoes for walking, and 
requested that he would make somebody stand at the 
heads of the horses. 

He did so, and afterwards obligingly made his way 
to Lord Deerhurst. He begged his lordship would 
excuse the liberty he took, adding, " We know each 
other personally Lord Deerhurst, and I cannot help 
feeling hurt and grieved to see you so engaged, 
particularly with two young ladies under your imme- 
diate protection. I feel myself bound, seeing so 
many blackguards against you, to stand by you, as 
long as you choose to keep me in this very disgraceful 
situation." 

" What," cried out the many-mouthed mob, " you 
are another lord, I suppose ? Here's rum lords for 
you ! cheating a poor man out of twopence, and then 
stopping to fight in the road. My sarvices to you, 
my lord ! Who would not be a lord ! " 

" Out of respect for you, Mr. Upton," said Deer- 
hurst, " I will pay this fellow; " and thus, after knock- 
ing the poor man about till he was black and blue, 
his lordship being possessed of all such skill as his 
friends Crib and Jackson had taught him, he paid 
him the twopence which was originally his due, and 
was hissed and hooted till he drove out of sight. 

When he rejoined us, his nose and fingers were 
covered with blood. 

" Did you ever see such an impudent rascal, my 
dear Sophia ? " said Deerhurst to her. 

" Never in my life," prettily repeated Sophia in 
her own cuckoo-strain. 



148 



CHAPTER IX 

BY this time, my most gentle readers are growing, 
tant soipeu, tired of what they presume to call my 
consummate nonsense ! and an indulgent public is, 
I must however say, somewhat prematurely thinking 
about throwing aside my very charming narrative of 
facts in high life as they actually took place ; though 
I do not specify in what year or years, being anxious 
to forget all such critical matters as dates. 

To such of the kind public as may have a perverted 
taste for the serious, I beg leave to state that I arn 
now making my debut in a tragic part ; but venture 
humbly to express the hope that my tragical adven- 
tures will furnish more interest to my readers than 
they supplied amusement to me. 

I have twice before stated that Lord Ponsonby's 
attachment to me continued, or appeared to con- 
tinue, unabated for the space of nearly three years : 
et> savez-vous, mes belles dames, que cela est beaucoup ? 
Towards the end of that period, he one evening 
appeared to me unusually melancholy. I had fre- 
quently reproached him with making a mystery to 
me of something which must have happened to him ; 
but he not only assured me that I was mistaken, but 
began to affect more than his accustomed gaiety; and 
he acted his part so well that I was doubtful whether 
1 had not been altogether deceived. 

" Then perhaps you are only out of health," said 
1, " instead of out of spirits ? for I am sure that your 
hands are feverish." 

" Now you have discovered it," said Ponsonby, 

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MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

laughing ; " I am going to die ! Would you regret 
me ? " said he : and then, in a tone of much feeling, 
added, as he put back my thick hair with his two 
hands, to kiss my forehead and examine the expres- 
sion of my countenance, intensely, as though he were 
taking a last farewell of it " I will not ask you ; for 
I am sure you would." 

He now took up some paper and began to write, 
holding his hand before the paper to prevent my 
seeing a single line. 

" What are you writing ? " I asked. 

" Private business," was Ponsonby 's answer. 

On this I sat down to my pianoforte, that I might 
not interrupt him. Yet it struck me that it must 
be something for me, or that he would not have 
written it at my house. 

Lord Ponsonby had often hinted that he wished to 
make a provision for me, during my life, of two hun- 
dred pounds a year. I imagined that this might be 
semething of a promise to that effect : but, as 1 
knew Ponsonby at that time to be very poor and 
much in debt, my resolution was taken at once. " He 
will divide his purse with me," thought I, " while he 
lives and loves me and I will never look forward, 
nor provide for one hour after Ponsonby shall be lost 
to me." 

As soon as he had sealed up a letter, which he put 
into his pocket, he looked at his watch and, starting 
upon his feet, said, in a voice of real distress, " I 
must go ! Who would have imagined that it could 
be so late ! " 

" Must you go home, already ? " I asked 

" Not home, but to the House of Lords," Pon- 
sonby replied. " But, my dear Harriette, I cannot 
lose you at this moment ! Perhaps you were right, 
and my spirits may have been rather lower than usual 
to-night ! Will you come down with me in a hackney 
coach as far as the House ? " 

I acquiesced willingly ; and when we arrived there 
I begged to be allowed to wait for him. " I do not 
150 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

care if it should be all night," said I ; " for you'll 
come at last, and we can drive towards your house 
together." 

Ponsonby answered that I was very good ; but in 
the greatest despondency. 

In half an hour he came to the coach-door, to say 
that the House would sit late and he could not bear 
the idea of my waiting. 

" All these things, my dearest Ponsonby," said I, 
"are mere matters of taste. I am very happy in 
waiting for you very 1 " He did not again return to 
me for more than three hours. It was daylight. 
He seemed to be dreadfully unwell and fatigued. I 
had never seen him thus since the death of his father. 
He gave me, I think, almost a hundred kisses, with- 
out uttering a single word. 

" You are much fatigued, dear Ponsonby," said I ; 
" I only wish to heaven I might stay with you and 
take care of you for ever." 

" I have a letter for you," said Ponsonby, drawing 
the one which he had written at my house from his 
pocket, as we drove towards his own home. 

" You must excuse my taking it," said I ; " because, 
I will tell you frankly, I rather guess that it is to 
secure me the provision which you have so often 
talked about " 

He was peremptory. 

" I am no liar, Ponsonby," said I, " and, when 1 
most solemnly declare to you that I will never accept 
of any annuity from you, unless you were to become 
so rich as to make one without the slightest incon- 
venience to yourself or your family I hope you will 
believe me." I then tore the letter into many pieces 
and threw it out of the coach-window. 

Ponsonby seemed almost ashamed of having had 
so little as two hundred pounds a year to offer ; but 
even that was not without difficulty, for he was 
most magnificent in his ideas of gentlemanly expendi- 
ture. 

Poor fellow ! He had so little of it to spend : and 

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MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

from delicacy he was afraid to say more on the sub- 
ject of what he considered a trifle wholly unworthy 
of me. 

As he drew near his door, Ponsonby pressed me 
close to his heart. " My dear Harriette," said he, 
** it is indeed as you say, very hard upon us that we 
may not pass the whole of our lives together; but 
then be assured of this truth ; and I hope that it may 
afford you consolation, happen what will, my affec- 
tion for you, to whom I certainly owe some of the 
happiest hours I have ever known." 

The kiss which followed this declaration was as 
long and as ardent as our first ! Yet alas ! how 
different the parting kiss of unfathomable anguish, 
given in the fervour of gaunt despair, to the first soul- 
thrilling embrace of wild, ardent ecstasy, which com- 
prehends no limits and which, like the last, could 
never be forgotten by me. 

Ponsonby had affected me with his more than usual 
melancholy, and, when I was about to take my leave, 
I felt that I could not speak ; but I kissed his hand 
eagerly and fervently, as he was hurrying out of the 
coach. . . . 

I have never seen him from that hour. 

On the following evening, while I was expecting 
Ponsonby, I received a letter from him, the purport 
of which was to inform me that we had parted for 
ever. 



I remember little of the style or nature of the 
letter. Something I read about a discovery made by 
Lady Ponsonby, and a solemn engagement or promise 
extorted from him, to see me only once more, in 
which interview he had intended to have explained 
and arranged every thing; but could not. The perusal 
of this letter occasioned a mist to come over my eyes, 
my heart seemed to swell so as almost to produce 
suffocation : and yet I did not believe it to be possible 
that we could have parted for the last time, or surely 
152 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

my anguish had burst forth in one wild cry and then 
all had been still for ever ! 

But hope was not yet extinct. I felt stunned, 
more by the sudden shock of such an idea being 
presented to my imagination as possible, than from any 
conviction of its probability. " Dreadful 1 " thought 
I, and shuddered, while I felt a cold dew as from 
the charnel-house overspread my whole frame, " shall 
Ponsonby refuse to speak to me, and even look upon 
me as a stranger, after all our communion of feeling, 
after all that deep interest which he evinced towards 
me so late as this very morning? Nonsense! palpable, 
gross absurdity ! How 1 have been frightening my- 
self 1 As if it were in human nature to be so cruel 
even to one's greatest enemy ! And Ponsonby's 
nature is so kind ! " and then a violent hysterical affec- 
tion steeped my senses in forgetfulness and relieved 
for an instant the bitter anguish of my heart. Then 
I suddenly recollected his parting kiss. Gracious 
God! could he have left me? My brain seemed 
absolutely on fire. I flew to the window, where for 
years I had been in the habit of watching his approach. 
*< It is not high enough," thought I, " and would but 
half destroy me. 1 will go to him first," and my 
trembling hands essayed in vain to fasten the ribbons 
of my bonnet under my chin : " but no, no, I will not 
risk her happiness. I am not really wicked, not so 
very wicked as to deserve this dreadful calamity. We 
are sent into the world to endure the evils of it 
patiently, and not thus to fly into the face of our 
God. If he is our father, and I kneel down to him 
with patience, this anguish will be calmed." 

I locked my door, and then prostrated myself with 
my face on the floor and prayed fervently for near an 
hour that, if I was to see Ponsonby no more, God 
would take me in mercy out of a world of such bitter 
suffering before the morning. I arose somewhat 
comforted: but stiff, and so cold that my whole 
frame trembled violently. I swallowed some lavender- 
drops and tried to write: blotted twenty sheets of 

153 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

paper with unintelligible nonsense and wetted them 
with my tears. 

The book Ponsonby last read to me now caught 
my eye. No sense of religion could calm me or save 
me from the actions of despair, while these objects 
were before me, and, hastily wrapping my cloak about 
me, I hurried into the streets. I walked on with 
incredible swiftness till my strength failed me all at 
once, and, panting for breath, I sat down on the step 
of a door in Half Moon-street. The night was dark 
and rainy. " I have a strong mind," thought I, " and 
I will exert it to consider where I shall look for help 
and consolation if Ponsonby has left me." As this 
thought struck me, the slow tear fell unregarded down 
my cheek. "Death," was the answer my despair made 
me, " only death can relieve me ! " But then what is 
death ? how soon the vital spark of life is destroyed in 
insects. The poor moth, when writhing in torture of 
its own seeking, how often and how easily I have put 
at rest ! Ponsonby 's neglect, Ponsonby 's late passion, 
his smile, and his last long kiss, cannot torture me 
after this little palpitation has ceased, and I held my 
fingers to my throat to ascertain the strength of what 
seemed all of life about me. Yet I will suffer first, 
and suffer long, that I may pray for God's forgive- 
ness, only be it my consolation that this will terminate 
all. 

Alas ! vain was my reasoning. There was no con- 
solation for me. I was bent on writing to Ponsonby. 
" I will return home," thought I, " and shut myself 
up in the small room he has never entered." My 
trembling knees could no longer support me. I tried 
to rise ; but could not. My lips were parched, my 
cheeks burned, and I was very sick. " God is about 
to grant the prayer 1 have made to him," thought I, 
ever sanguine in what I wished " I shall die by his 
own will." 

I grew worse, and very faint. Sickness was new to 
me at that time, and now a slight touch of fear came 
over me. "Alas ! " methought, " I am going out of the 
154 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

world very young and very miserably, and before I 
have written to Ponsonby. He would have returned 
to me. He loved me, and while there was life there 
was hope. I might have been so exquisitely happy 
as to have been pressed to his heart again ! though 
but once more, it would have compensated an age of 
misery. It is but in losing him I can appreciate my 
late wonderful happiness. I would have been his 
servant or his slave, and lived on one of his smiles for 
a week, as a reward for the hardest labour. What 
am I ? what was I, that Ponsonby should devote his 
precious life to me ? No matter what I was ! " As I 
grew still fainter, I prayed for Ponsonby's eternal 
happiness, as though I had felt he required my 
prayers. 

" Vy do you set there ? " inquired a man, who was 
passing, in the accent of a Jew, and, receiving no 
answer, after examining me attentively, he added, 
" Poor ting ! poor girl you are ill ! don't be afraid of 
a poor old Jew. Tell me vat I sal do for you." My 
heart was so deeply oppressed that my strongest effort 
to subdue my feelings proved unsuccessful ; and, at 
the sound of these few words uttered in a tone of 
unaffected benevolence, I sobbed aloud. 

" Poor ting ! poor young ting ! Got bless my soul," 
taking my hand, " you are very ill, you have much 
fever, vat shall pe done ! " 

46 1 am really ill," said I, struggling to speak calmly, 
" and you will oblige me greatly if you will have the 
kindness to see me to a hackney coach." 

The Jew hastened to comply with my request, and 
with real delicacy assisted me into the carriage he 
procured for me, without making a single inquiry. 

Arrived at home, my housekeeper was so alarmed 
and struck at my altered appearance that she, after 
putting me to bed, sent for Dr. Bain, who assured me 
that I was in a high fever, and that my recovery 
depended entirely on my keeping myself very quiet. 

I confessed to my physician that there was some- 
thing on my mind which agitated me so violently 

155 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

that I could find no rest till I was allowed to write a 
long letter. He seemed to take a strong interest in 
my fate ; and, after vainly imploring me not to 
attempt it, suffered my maid to place my writing- 
desk before me ; but, alas ! I could not write. 

My memory began to fail me, and my head was 
dreadfully confused, I remarked this to Dr. Bain as 
I laid down my pen. 

" My dear child," said the doctor, taking my burn- 
ing hand with much kindness, " your pulse is so high 
at this moment, that nothing but the most perfect 
stillness can ever restore you. Only obey my instruc- 
tions for three days, and I firmly hope that your fever 
will have left you, and you will be able to write with- 
out difficulty on any subject you please." 

The idea of dying without having addressed 
Ponsonby, caused me such extreme anguish, that I 
submitted like an infant to follow the advice I 
received. 

" Only assure me, sir," said I, "that I shall be able 
to write to a particular friend, a very long, collected 
letter before 1 die and my mind will become com- 
paratively calm." 

The doctor gave me all the comfort in his power, 
and promised to see me early in the morning. 

I passed a very agitated night, I could riot refrain 
from puzzling my poor, confused brain as to what I 
should write to Ponsonby. My letter was to decide 
my fate on earth, therefore must not be hurried, nor 
begun till I had collected all the energies of my mind. 
I prayed that such eloquence might be granted me as 
might persuade and lead Ponsonby, at least to show 
some symptoms of humanity towards me. 

It was six o'clock in the morning before the strong 
opiate which Dr. Bain had prescribed for me pro- 
duced any effect. At that hour, quite exhausted in 
mind and body, 1 fell into a heavy sleep, which lasted 
more than eight hours. 

On opening my eyes, I saw at my bedside my dear 
sister Fanny and Dr. Bain : the latter was feeling 
156 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

my pulse. I felt very much agitated at seeing 
Fanny. 

Dr. Bain told her that my disorder proceeded alone 
from the agitation of my mind ; but it, nevertheless, 
had produced such violent effects as to make it advis- 
able for me immediately to lose some blood. 

I submitted to whatever was required of me ; but I 
begged Fanny not to tease or question me as to what 
had caused aU this, assuring her that I could not talk 
on the subject without disturbing my senses, and I 
was earnestly desirous of obtaining a little calm reason, 
if only for one hour more, that I might compose a 
letter before I died. 

Dr. Bain, as well as my sister, said and did every- 
thing the most tender friendship could dictate. To 
be brief, their kind attention and my own excellent 
constitution triumphed over the fever, which had been 
very severe during five days. In a little more than a 
fortnight I left my bed; and, though reduced to a 
mere shadow of what I had been, I found myself 
sufficiently collected to address the following letter to 
Lord Ponsonby: 

" Scarcely a month has elapsed since I possessed, or 
believed I possessed, with health, reputed beauty, 
and such natural spirits, ' as were wont to set the 
table in a roar,' all my highest flights of imagination 
had ever conceived or dreamed of perfect happiness 
on earth I had almost said, in heaven ! Alas 1 I had 
not considered how unreal and fleeting must ever be 
the glories of this life, and I was, as a child, un- 
prepared for the heavy affliction which has fallen on 
my heart like a thunder-bolt, withering all healthful 
verdure and crushing its hopes for ever. 

u In encouraging so deep an attachment for a married 
man I have indeed been very hardened ; but, till now, 
I can call my God to witness, I have never in my life 
reflected seriously on any subject. Maturity of 
thought, it should seem, is acquired earlier by certain 
characters than others ; for I could affirm on my 

157 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

death-bed that, hitherto, I dreamed not of injuring any 
one of my fellow creatures. In short, while I loved all 
the world and would fain have done them all good, I 
most respected Lady Ponsonby. This assertion may 
seem scarcely credible to young females, differently 
educated or of less wild and childish dispositions ; but, 
just arisen from a sick bed, I write not to deceive. 

" Three weeks of bitter anguish of mind and body 
have changed, or rather matured my nature so com- 
pletely, that even the expression of my features bears 
another character. 

" My eyes are now open and I feel that, as the 
mistress of a married man, possessing an innocent, 
amiable young wife, I could no longer be esteemed 
or respected by the only being whose respect was 
dear to me. As lovers then, Ponsonby, we have met 
for the last time on earth ! " [Here I laid down my 
pen ; because this idea affected me.] 

" I have delayed writing to you, till I could 
address you with reasonable firmness, not with the 
mere ravings of passion. Think you so meanly of me, 
dear Ponsonby, as to fancy that I could be gratified 
at becoming a mere instrument of pleasure to you, 
after my cool judgment has told me that I should 
thus forfeit all right to your respect or esteem ? You 
are a man of the world, and as such may confound 
what is termed a lovefit, with the deep affection you 
have for three years taken pains to inspire in my heart. 

" * Love never kills,' says the unfeeling world : yet, 
unfeeling as it may be, such a sudden desertion of 
your wife would have called forth towards her its 
deepest commiseration. Alas ! the ceremony of 
marriage, read over to me by a thousand priests, 
could not have added one jot to my despair, while I 
in vain cast my cheerless eyes around the wide world 
for a single ray of pity, which is ever denied me. 

" Yet the faults of my careless youth have been 
sanctioned and encouraged and shared by you, who 
knew well, from experience, the future anguish you 
158 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

were preparing for me ! You elated my pride beyond 
all the bounds of humility: you blessed me with 
more than human happiness, but to destroy my peace 
for ever ! I was not naturally vain ; but, when you 
have shut yourself up whole days alone, to think on 
our meeting and our love, till we should meet again, 
when, in movements of the wildest passion, you, with 
all your talent and your glorious beauty, have called 
me your own angelic Harriette, think you I could 
divest myself of delicious pride in the object of my 
passion ? And if I did not believe or fancy myself an 
angel, perhaps my attributes as a woman were but 
the more appreciated by me, as you preferred them. 

"Enough of a subject I had determined not to 
touch upon. I bow with humility to the fate which 
compels me to resign such happiness as few, among 
wiser and better people, have been permitted to enjoy ; 
and, 'come what may, I have been blessed.' 

" Had it pleased heaven to have bestowed on me 
the husband of my choice, there is nothing great or 
good or virtuous that I had not aspired to : as it is, I 
am a poor fallen wretch, who ask of your compassion 
one line or one word of consolation to save me from 
despair. 

" Oh ! I have known such moments of deep anguish 
as I could never describe to you. Ponsonby, my 
dear Ponsonby ! I throw myself on my knees before 
you, I raise the eyes you have so often professed to 
love and admire, now disfigured, and half closed by 
constant weeping, towards heaven, and I ask of God 
to soften your heart, that you may not torture me 
beyond my strength. Recall then those dreadful 
words, ' we* must part now, Harriette, and for ever 1 ' 
I too am a woman ! and Lady Ponsonby desires not 
my death. 

" Trust me, the errors and little weaknesses which 
humanity dictates shall be found more acceptable in 
the eyes of God, than such stoical virtue as results 
from hardness of heart. 

159 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" If I survive the punishment you have declared I 
must submit to, it will be by the strength of my 
constitution, which shall be proof against an age of 
anguish 1 My heart was ever warm and unusually 
affectionate. 1 ask but to live yet for you, not with 
you. I would but obtain your approbation as a 
reward for my earnest endeavours to do right, and 
obtain for myself an existence, by my own industry, 
if ever my former health and strength should be 
restored to me. 

" When you come and speak to me of what is right 
and virtuous shall I not love virtue for your sake ? 
Have I ever wished to disobey you ? I do not ask 
you to visit me alone. Call on me with Lord Jersey. 
Come soon, and give but the assurance that still and 
for ever you will be all to me that honour and virtue 
permits; that once in every year, while I act vir- 
tuously, you will visit me, and encourage me with 
your friendship and approbation. 

" I am overpowered with faintness and fatigue, else 
I had many, many more arguments to urge. Hope, 
almost life, hangs on your answer; therefore, dear 
Ponsonby be merciful, and so may God bless you. 

" HARRIETTE." 

My mind was very much relieved, after I had 
despatched my letter; for I considered that I 
should certainly hear from Lord Ponsonby, if he 
possessed one spark of feeling toward me ; and, if he 
did not, of course my respect and affection must 
naturally abate. 

I watched for the appearance of the postman, who 
usually brought my letters, from morning till night, 
with indescribable emotion ; nor did I cease to hope 
for a whole week. At last however I was convinced 
that the epistle which had cost me so much labour 
of thought, was indeed entirely disregarded by the 
person on whom I expected it would have made a 
deep impression. 

Somewhat of an indignant feeling began to take 
160 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

the place of affection. All my woman's pride was 
roused, and yet methought, this man, so cruelly un- 
feeling to me now, has watched my islumbers in breath- 
less silence, and still he smiles with the same brilliant 
expression ori others, and all about him are impressed 
with that dignified air of true nobility, that high 
reserve so delightfully and condescendingly thrown 
aside, in favour of the few who please him. 

A slow intermitting fever began to prey on my 
constitution. I felt a violent oppression of the chest, 
which increased so rapidly, in spite of all my kind 
friend, Dr. Bain, could do for me, that in less than a 
month after I had addressed my last letter to 
Ponsonby, I could never find breath sufficient to 
enable me to ascend the stairs to my bed-chanber, 
without sitting down to rest more than once. I 
began to hate society ; above all I avoided anything 
like gaiety. 

It was now that I believed in all 1 had heard as to 
the wretchedness of this life, and I wanted to recon- 
cile myself to my God. " I will pass my heavy hours 
in doing the little good to my fellow creatures, in my 
power, 1 ' said I one day, as I recollected my former 
slight acquaintance with a woman whom I knew to 
have been lately taken to Newgate for rather a heavy 
debt. She was Lord Craven's housekeeper, during 
the time I had lived with him at Brighton. 

I ordered my carriage to the debtors' door of 
Newgate. My mind was so deeply absorbed with 
one object, that the misery I saw there did not much 
affect me. The poor woman, Mrs. Butler, was sur- 
prised and delighted to see me. 

" I wish I could pay your debt," said I, panting for 
breath as usual, and speaking with pain and difficulty. 

" My dear, dear young lady," said Mrs. Butler, look- 
ing at me with much compassion, " what has happened 
to that sweet, merry, blooming face of yours ? " 

It only required a single word, uttered in a tone of 
sympathy, to bring the ready tears into my eyes. 
Mine now fell, disregarded by me, down my pale 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

cheek. " You," returned I, " are not the only person 
in affliction ; but, never mind, talk to me, my good 
woman, of anything except my unhappiness. I 
cannot pay your debt, with common justice to my 
own creditors ; but this trifle I can spare, and you are 
very welcome to it." I then placed in her hand all I 
at that moment possessed in the world, except a 
single one pound note. 

Mrs. Butler really was what she appeared, very 
grateful. I sat an hour with her, and promised 
constantly to visit her and provide for all her little 
wants, as long as she continued in prison. When 1 
was taking my leave, just as the last bell was about 
to ring, which was to exclude all strangers for the 
night, I observed an interesting young girl of about 
fourteen years of age, in one corner of the room, 
weeping bitterly; near her sat an elderly lady 
apparently in much affliction. A working man was in 
the act of making up a large bundle, out of I knew 
not what. 

"Those poor people are in great affliction," said 
Mrs. Butler, observing what had fixed my attention. 
" The mother has seen better days ; they have 
hitherto contrived to pay 3s. 6rf. a week for the hire 
of their bed, which that man is now taking away, 
because their means are exhausted. I was instantly 
about to desire the man to put down the bed, when 
prudence whispered in my ear that I had just given 
all I possessed but a single pound note. " No 
matter," thought I, taking out my purse, u poverty 
cannot add to such affliction of the mind as mine is." 
Again I paused. This lady has seen better days and 
must be treated with more delicacy. I hastened 
towards her and, taking hold of her hand to place my 
bank note in it, I whispered in her ear, my request, 
that she would do me the favour to make use of the 
trifle, and without waiting her answer I hurried on 
after the man, who was now disappearing with the 
poor woman's mattress and bed-clothes, and desired 
him to return with them. 
162 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

The next morning I was surprised by a visit from 
the Duke of Wellington, who had unexpectedly 
arrived from the continent the night before. 

" How do you do ? what have you been about ? " 
asked His Grace : then, fixing his eyes on my pale, 
thin, care-worn face, he absolutely started, as though 
he had seen the ghost of some man he had killed, 
honestly of course ! 

" What the devil is the matter ? " inquired Wel- 
lington. 

" Something has affected me deeply," answered I, 
my eyes again filling with tears, " and I have been ill 
for more than two months." 

" Poor girl ! " said Wellington, as though he really 
would have pitied me, had he but known how, and 
then added, " I always dreaded your getting into 
some scrape. Do you recollect I told you so ? How 
much money do you want ? " said this man of senti- 
ment, drawing near the table and taking up my pen 
to write a draft. 

" I have no money," I replied, " not a single shilling ; 
but this is not the cause of my sufferings." 

" Nonsense, nonsense," rejoined Wellington, writing 
me a cheque. " Where the devil is Argyle ? Why do 
not you make him pay your debts ? I will give you 
what I can afford now, and you must write to me, 
as usual, at Thomas's Hotel, if this is not sufficient. 
Good God ! how thin you are grown ? Were 
you sorry I left you? I remember you shed tears 
when I told you I was off for Spain. I am a cold 
sort of fellow. I dare say you think so, and yet, I 
have not forgotten that either : because there is no 
humbug about you ; and, when you cry, you are 
sorry I believe. I have thought of you very often in 
Spain ; particularly one night, I remember, I dreamed 
you came out on my staff." 

Wellington consoled me as well as he could, and 
sat with me nearly three hours. His visit made no 
impression on me, except that I was grateful for his 
kindness in leaving me the money I wanted. 

a 163 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

The oppression on my chest increased daily, and 1 
became so reduced as to excite the commiseration of 
a kind opposite neighbour, who sent over her footman 
to know if the poor young creature she saw from her 
window, and who appeared so very ill, had proper 
advice, and friends in town to take care of her ? 

My grief seemed now to settle in deep despondency. 
I considered my late intimacy with Porisonby as un- 
real mockery, a bright vision of the fancy. I believed 
that were he suddenly to appear again before me, I 
should instantly expire. Dr. Bain, I know, believed 
that my symptoms bordered on a decline and he 
wished me to try Italy. 

In about a week I paid a second visit to Mrs. 
Butler, although my trembling limbs could scarcely 
support me up the stairs of the prison ; and, when 1 
entered, I was absolutely speechless with the effort 
for nearly a quarter of an hour. Mrs. Butler was all 
gratitude ; while expressing the concern I believe she 
felt, lest I should injure myself by venturing out in 
such a miserable state of health. 

Observing in the room several women, who appeared 
to examine me with perfect curiosity, I asked Mrs. 
Butler if she knew what it meant. 

" Why," said Mrs. Butler, " that woman, whose 
bed they were taking away from her when you 
noticed her last week, knows you, and has been 
malicious enough to tell all the room that you are a 
mere kept mistress with whom she should be ashamed 
to converse." 

I threw on the stranger to whom I had given my 
very last pound a hasty and indignant glance ; but, 
neither the expression nor the colour of anger would 
dwell on a cheek bloodless as mine, and I might apply 
to myself, what Sterne said of his poor old monk, 
that nature had done with its resentments. 

" I never injured any of those women," reflected I, 
with meek resignation : " but God will be kinder to 
me and to my errors than they are ! " 

I offered all the little comforts in my power to 
104 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Mrs. Butler, arid then my health obliged me to take 
my leave. As I passed close to the woman into 
whose hands I had placed my pound-note, she snuled 
and curtsied affectedly. I fixed my sunk eyes, for 
an instant on her face, and then withdrew them, 
more in sorrow than in anger. 

I lingered thus for about two months, without any 
visible change in my health or spirits, except that I 
grew weaker and thinner every day. All the kind- 
ness which could be administered to a mind diseased 
I received from my mother and sister Fanny. 

About this time the Duke of Argyle arrived from 
Scotland. He was, no doubt, greatly shocked to see 
me so ill, although the cause of my melancholy state 
of mind being known to him, did not either flatter or 
interest him ; more particularly as he had often him- 
self remarked to me, that he wondered any woman 
alive could resist Lord Ponsonby. 

I had always liked Argyle, and was glad to see him, 
and should have indeed found much consolation in 
his society, but that beloved to trifle with my distress, 
as it regarded Lord Ponsonby. 

" I have just dined with Ponsonby," said Argyle 
to me one night, " and I never saw him look better. 
He showed me a letter, containing an invitation from 
that nasty sister of yours, Amy, who wanted to have 
me last year." 

That way madness lies: I could not listen to 
another word. I was rushing past Argyle, when he 
detained me, frightened at the wildness of my 
looks. 

" It is all a joke you credulous little fool," said he, 
running after me. 

" I cannot run," said I, turning round, and panting 
for breath. "Pray, pray, leave me now. You 
torture me by staying. Come this evening, and I 
shall thank you for your visit." It was long before I 
could induce him to leave me. 

The moment I was alone, I despatched the follow- 
ing note to Lord Ponsonby. 

165 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" I thank you that you renounced my prayers ; for 
you thus cured me of half my esteem. It was my 
fixed determination never to intrude myself again on 
your attention ; but the Duke of Argyle has men- 
tioned to me this morning my sister Amy having 
written to you. Once more then, Ponsonby, I im- 
plore you, as you would save me from self-destruc- 
tion, satisfy my wretched mind in what cannot injure 
Lady Ponsonby. Declare to me nobody has or 
shall . . . Ponsonby, I am addressing you for the 
last time. Have mercy on the dreadful agitation of 
my mind and answer me directly. You are quite 
happy, Argyle says ; and I in the very flower of my 
age am dying. One line can relieve me perhaps from 
madness ! Your watch, chain and ring are sealed up. 
I could not look on them. I never shall again. My 
poor eyes have looked their last on them and you ; 
and I shall never write to you again ; therefore, God 
bless you. When age shall overtake you, in some 
moment of affliction, perhaps you will remember me 
and what I could have been to you. Adieu." 

I despatched my letter almost without hope. " If 
he could resist the other," thought I, " this is more 
stupid, and less likely to affect him." 

The agitation Argyle's stay had occasioned produced 
an increase of fever. Towards night I began to think 
seriously of dying, and not without reason, being 
reduced to a mere skeleton, and having now been 
afflicted with cough and extreme difficulty of respira- 
tion for almost five months. There is a restlessness 
in all disorders of the mind, which the sufferer 
imagines can be best relieved by exercise. About 
nine o'clock, having read the New Testament for 
several hours, I felt a strange desire to behold the 
outside of Lord Ponsonby 's house once again before 
I died. I had avoided passing within a mile of it 
since he had left me, and this night I fancied some- 
thing good would turn up from going there, if I could 
but find strength to accomplish my design. To have 
166 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

mentioned it to my housekeeper would have been at 
once to put it out of the question. I really believe she 
would have locked me into my room, while she had 
sent for my sister and Dr. Bain; therefore, getting 
rid of her and of my footman, I gained a hackney- 
coach unobserved, and was set down in Park Lane, 
very near Lord Ponsonby's house. It was a fine mild 
evening, and the watchman was calling the hour of 
ten. I was terribly afraid of him, and my breath 
failed me when I tried to hasten out of his way. I 
wandered about till I could stand no longer, and, 
with difficulty, contrived to obtain a seat on the 
steps of a large portico-door. 

The atmosphere now began to threaten rain, which 
soon fell in torrents. A poor shivering girl sought 
shelter by my side. She was coughing most dread- 
fully, and her breath was still more oppressed than my 
own. " That cough," thought I, " is not feigned, and 
perhaps this wretched creature is thus nightly exposed 
to the inclement weather, to obtain existence by the 
prostitution of her person to unfeeling and drunken 
strangers : and what am I, that I should turn my 
back on a sister in affliction ? " I immediately inquired 
of her why she left her home with such a dreadful 
cough. 

The poor creature turned her head towards me in 
much apparent surprise. She was not beautiful, nor 
was she rouged, and her dress was rather neat than 
tawdry. The set characters of death appeared to me 
to be stamped on features which once had been very 
lovely. 

66 1 have no home," was the poor girl's answer. 
" I had half a bed, till last night," added she, " but 
you see what I suffer, and, therefore, being unable to 
obtain a single shilling, they have turned me into the 
streets." 

"Dreadful! dreadful!" I ejaculated. "Good 
God! how could you ever degrade yourself thus? 
What labour would not have been preferable at the 
beginning ! " 
- * 167 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

The poor creature interrupted me with loud sobs, 
which produced such a dreadful fit of coughing, I 
thought that she would have expired on the spot. 

" Good heavens ! " said I, " what is to be done ? 
I am so very weak myself, that I cannot help you 
or seek for a coach to carry us home ; but, when the 
watchman passes us, I will send him for one and take 
you with me, and have you put into a warm bed and 
see you taken care of. When I have done this, I do 
riot think you will swear at me, or frighten me, or ill- 
use me, will you ? " added I, taking hold of her hand. 
" I am sure you would not, you could not, nobody 
could if they knew but half how wretched I am." 

The poor creature fell on her knees before me, and 
strove in vain to express her gratitude, with wild 
incoherency. I never saw any one thus affected. 

" My poor young woman," said I, exerting my 
strength to raise her, " you must have met with very 
hard hearts to be thus surprised and overpowered by 
a little common humanity towards a poor fellow 
creature in distress. Pray be calm, that we may cure 
you and give you an opportunity of making amends 
for your past life, by becoming a useful and respected 
member of society." 

Before I could contrive to get the poor creature 
placed in a hackney-coach, which the watchman pro- 
cured, she had fainted, and was still insensible when, 
at past one in the morning, I arrived at my own 
house. 

My footman was at that instance setting off' for my 
sister and Dr. Bain : and my good housekeeper was 
in tears. 

" Do not agitate me," said I, " with your questions 
and all this bustle ; 1 am too ill too endure them ; but 
this distressed object, whom I have met with by mere 
accident, is worse than I am and more in want of 
your care. Never mind who or what she is; but 
pray get her to bed, and see that she has all she 
requires. Tell her I wish that I could attend her 
myself ; but I am not able. " 
168 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

My good old servant, knowing well how contradic- 
tion always irritated me, sent my housemaid to 
undress me, and hastened to obey my commands. 

In about an hour she returned to acquaint me that 
the poor young girl had fallen asleep, completely 
worn out with fatigue. " Poor soul ! " continued my 
housekeeper, " she is not long for this world, I fear ; 
yet she is as gentle as a lamb, and nothing like a 
vulgar or a bad word comes out of her mouth." 

My mind was a good deal relieved at this account 
of my protegde, and I tried to compose myself to rest. 
It was not however till eight o'clock in the morning 
that I could close my eyes ; and at eleven I put on 
my dressing-gown, and went to visit the poor invalid. 
By the first glance on her emaciated countenance, 
I felt persuaded that nothing would save her, though 
the poor young woman herself appeared very sanguine. 

" If it should please God, my dear lady, to spare 
me a little longer, you shall never, never have to regret 
your great goodness. 1 have not long led this dread- 
ful life. It is scarcely two years ago, since I lived as 
nursery -maid in a respectable family, where I was a 
great favourite. There, madam, I became acquainted 
with a young tradesman, who professed a desire to 
make me his wife. We kept company for nearly a 
twelvemonth. He always told me he thought it 
would be prudent to delay our marriage from day to 
day, as he was in hourly expectation of the arrival of 
his father, whose consent he was sure of obtaining, 
although he should have to dread his displeasure, were 
he to marry me without it. At last, I discovered by 
the merest accident that this man had a wife, to whom 
he had been married four years, as well as three fine 
young children. I immediately left my place to avoid 
meeting him again. My mistress strongly recom- 
mended me to a friend of her own, as nurse to her 
infant daughter ; but grief preyed so on my mind, that 
I could not give satisfaction in my situation. 

" I was shortly afterwards afflicted with this terrible 
cough. To drown the anguish of my mind I got into 

169 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

bad company, and, having lost my character as well as 
my health, I have, for the last four months, been 
reduced to eat the bread of sin. 

" I have been vainly trying to get into one of the 
hospitals, but there are no hopes of that," said the 
poor creature, her tears falling fast down her pale 
cheeks, " for they say that mine is an incurable 
disorder which they do not want to be troubled with." 

" What unfeeling creatures," said I, " but do not 
fret, poor soul, or despair. While there is life there 
is hope. If I cannot get you into a hospital, where 
you shall have from me linen, tea, wine, and all you 
may require, you shall be at least as well off in my 
house, so keep yourself quiet. While I live and you 
do your duty you shall never want a friend ; and if 
we both die shortly, as may happen, let us hope that 
God will be found an indulgent father, instead of a 
severe judge, and will receive us into a better world." 

The poor creature absolutely seemed to forget her 
own severe sufferings, while endeavouring to think of 
what would best relieve mine. 

In the course of the morning Dr. Bain prescribed 
for her, and promised to bring me a letter for her 
admittance into St. George's Hospital. On the next 
morning, when the poor creature was admitted into 
that Institution, she fainted from excess of joy and 
gratitude. 

Soon after the departure of my prot^g^e, my servant 
brought me a letter, by the twopenny post ; the hand- 
writing was Lord Ponsonby's. Gracious heavens, 
how my heart beat ! I could not open it. I kissed 
it a thousand times, placed it next my heart thought 
I should never have found courage to read it, and 
when I did at last in fear and trembling, for I had 
begun to doubt the probability of any good happening 
to me on earth, it was as follows very short, and not 
particularly sweet. 

" Why, dearest, will you consider these things so 
seriously ! Upon my honour, upon my soul, I can 
170 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

say no, in reply to your question : and you may tell 
the Duke of Argyle that he is mistaken if he thinks 
me happy. Do you remember what I said to you at 
our last meeting, and will you do me the justice to 
believe I did not deceive you ? Pray do. 

" Adieu, 

" PONSONBY." 

" Does this man love me ! " thought I, half wild 
with the delightful idea, "and shall we not meet 
again ? Impossible ! As friends, at least, we must, 
shall meet, or I will die in the attempt." 

The letter gave me new life, I imagined myself cured. 
Gay visions of departed happiness filled my imagina- 
tion. I placed myself before the glass, to contem- 
plate the havoc which sickness and anxiety had made 
on my features, and sighed heavily. " No matter ! " 
vanity whispered, "I am more interesting; though not 
half so brilliant " ; and then I hoped he would not love 
me less for the suffering his neglect had occasioned 
me. This world, said I, is a blank without him. 
I have endeavoured and prayed for tranquillity of 
mind in vain, during many long months, which yet 
have brought me no consolation. Too well I know I 
must renounce him as a lover ; but for ever out of his 
sight I cannot exist, and longer I will not. I will 
take him by surprise. I will wait for hours, days, 
years at his door ; but I will hear his voice once more. 
Shall I continue to suffer thus for what his footmen, 
tradesmen and valet, enjoy freely every day ? 

I, who would sign my own death-warrant but once 
again to kiss the dear hand which inscribed this beau- 
tiful little note ! What have I done so very wicked, 
that I may not ever again behold him ? I will wait 
at his door every night that I can ascertain he is from 
home, and, the first time he happens to return on foot, 
I cannot fail to see him ; and one word he must say 
to me, if it is but to order me home. Something like 
the man, who boasted of having been addressed by 
the Emperor Bonaparte : u What did he say to you ? " 

171 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

somebody asked. " Va fen coquin" answered this 
true Christian. 

Well, then, to conclude, since I am sure my 
readers are growing as tired of this dismal love-story 
as I am, I wandered nightly round Lord Ponsonby's 
house, which I believe I have said was now at the 
corner of Upper Brook Street, in Park Lane, for 
nearly a fortnight to no purpose. He returned not 
before daylight, when I dared not show myself, or he 
either came in his carriage, or had not left his house. 
The night air so increased my cough, that, Cod 
knows where I found strength for these wild nocturnal 
promenades ; but love does wonders ! I passed the 
whole day coughing in bed, to obtain strength at 
least to die at his door : for I had taken an oath to 
behold Ponsonby again or die in the attempt. 

One night, dread of observation from the watch- 
man, or insult from the passing strangers, made me 
parade slowly, on the opposite side of the street, 
before his house. The moon was shining beautifully, 
at near one in the morning. A magnificent, tall, 
elegant man, habited in black, turned hastily round 
the corner from Park Lane, and knocked loudly at 
Ponsonby's door. Could I be mistaken ? I felt in 
every drop of my thrilling blood, and at the bottom 
of my heart, that it was Ponsonby, almost before 1 
had caught a glimpse of him ; and, darting across the 
street, with the light swiftness of former times, alas ! 
Us ctaient passes, ces jours de fetes fa. A bar of iron 
across my chest seemed to arrest my flight, and I was 
compelled to stand quite still for an instant. That 
instant decided my fate. I obtained Ponsonby's 
dwelling as the porter shut him out from my sight. 
The anguish of that moment I will not attempt to 
describe. 

My mouth immediately filled with blood. Whether 
this was the effect of mental suffering, or whether 
I had done myself an internal injury by over-exertion, 
I know not : nor do I scarcely recollect how I hap- 
pened to find myself in a hackney-coach. All I know 
172 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

for certain as to the adventures of that miserable 
night, is that 1 opened my eyes at five in the morning 
to behold Dr. Bain and a surgeon, who was binding 
up my arm to bleed me, my sister Fanny, in tears, 
and the Duke of Argyle, who stood at the foot of my 
bed, consulting with Dr. Bain. I know not why the 
kind, scarlet fever attacked me, in the midst of all 
my troubles ; but that was the disorder under which 
I suffered. 

I will not dwell on what I endured during a fort- 
night; indeed, as I was so frequently delirious, I 
knew little about it. 

At the end of that time, however, my life was 
despaired of; but, in a few days, the disorder took a 
favourable turn and, after lingering six weeks, during 
which I had full time to reflect on all the follies I had 
indulged in, and having for more than a week been 
desired by Dr. Bain to prepare my mind for death, 
my late passion assumed the character of madness. 
I considered Ponsonby's conduct towards myself and 
his wife as equally heartless, and undeserved by all 
I had suffered for him. I earnestly prayed that he 
might hereafter make his lady amends for the former 
neglect I had occasioned her. I no longer desired to 
see him. " I have suffered too much," I often thought 
to myself, " and will not dwell on the occasion of it 
lest I lose sight of that charitable spirit towards all 
mankind in which I hope to die. Were he now in 
that room waiting to see me, I should desire him to 
return to his home and leave me to die in peace." 
I hoped that God would not be as deaf to his last 
prayers as he had been to mine. I sent his watch, 
chain and ring to Amy, to do exactly what she 
pleased with. I never mentioned Lord Poiisonby 
but once during my last illness; it was addressing 
Fanny," If ever you meet with him, after my death, 
tell him that I forgave him : and, for his wife's sake, 
as well as for his own, I prayed that God would mend 
his heart ; but that I felt no desire to see him, or to 

take my final leave of him." 

J 178 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

During this severe illness, the Duke of Argyle was 
very attentive to me. He was now the only man 
living for whom I felt the least interest. My sister 
Amy knew this, as well as all my late suffering ; yet 
I was scarcely considered convalescent, when she 
made a desperate attack on Argyle's heart, which 
he complained of to me in terms of strong disgust. 
One night in particular before I had left my room, 
he came to me, after the opera. 

" I have had a narrow escape," said Argyle. 

" From what ? " I asked. 

" A rape ! " was his reply. 

" Who then, in this land of plenty," said I, " is so 
very hard up ? " 

" Your sister Amy," returned Argyle. " She asked 
me to see her to a coach ; then insisted on setting me 
down, drove me, bongre, malgre, to her house ; and 
would make me walk upstairs and sup with her. I 
was as obstinate as a stoic. ' Why, where are you 
going ? ' inquired your sister Amy ? * To a sick rela- 
tion of yours,' was my answer ; at which Amy looked 
like a fury, as she wished me a good night." 

" How you abuse her," said I. " Really you seem 
to have entirely forgotten our relationship." 

" Why," added Argyle, " she sets me the example." 

1 fought Amy's battles as long and as earnestly as 
though she had really loved me, assuring Argyle that 
she was not bold and had been kind to but very few 
lovers. 

Argyle, no doubt from all I said, began to think he 
had made a valuable conquest, and, rather than the 
poor thing should die, and appear at his bed-side 
afterwards, like unfortunate Miss Bailey, I suppose 
he determined to look at her again the next time he 
met her. 

At that period, I believe he could have attached 
himself to me very sincerely ; more so than formerly. 

His old friend, Lady W , was in a very bad state 

of health, and was not expected to live. Argyle 
lamented the prospect of her loss, with real friendship, 
174 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

and would have found consolation in my society, but 
for my late desperate passion for another, which 
however I should soon have overcome, now that all 
was still and calm and quiet about the region of my 
heart. This calm was heaven to a poor wretch who 
had undergone so much mental suffering. I could 
not account for it ; or rather, I could still less account 
for all my former misery. 

As soon as I was able to converse, I inquired after 
my poor protegee, at St. George's Hospital. My 
housekeeper informed me, that she still lingered in a 
very hopeless state. The idea of dying without 
seeing me again appeared to affect her much. I 
desired my housekeeper to carry her everything she 
wanted, and to assure her that my very first visit 
should be to her, the moment Dr. Bain would permit 
me to leave the house. That very kind friend had so 
reasoned with me, about the sin and folly of trifling 
as I had done hitherto with the blessings of health, 
that I had passed my word to obey him in everything, 
on pain of incurring his lasting displeasure. 

On the very first day I received permission to go 
out, while my carriage was waiting at the door, I 
was shocked by a most melancholy scene. The poor 
young creature from St. George's Hospital, having 
resisted the persuasions and threats of the matrons, 
declaring that she would see me before she died, 
drove up to my door in a hackney-coach literally in 
the agonies of death ! My landlord, who had just 
called for his rent, hearing from my servants that a 
dying woman was come to me from the hospital, 
declared that she should not enter his house. What 
was to be done ? We were all women and could not 
contend. My footman would have had her brought 
in by force ; but force was the very thing in which 
the most particlerst man as is was most deficient. 
The poor creature held out her hands, entreating me 
for the love of God not to send her away from me in 
her last moments. The scene was indeed disgraceful 
to humanity and I was very much affected by it ; but 

175 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

how could I help it ? The landord insisted she should 
not come in. There was no time to be lost, she must 
go to the workhouse. 

" We will lose no time in contention with this 
unfeeling wretch/' said I, " but I will go with you to 
the workhouse, and nurse you." 

" God bless you ! God bless you ! " exclaimed the 
poor dying creature, faintly. "I am not afraid of 
dying, while you are with me." 

I will not dwell on a scene, which even at this 
distant period I cannot remember without shudder- 
ing. In less than an hour after my poor protegee was 
placed on a miserable couch in Marylebone work- 
house, she expired in my arms, earnestly and piously 
recommending her soul to God . . . 

My health suffered much from this shock, and it 
was more than a week after the poor girl's death before 
I could again venture to leave the house. My sister 
Fanny at last prevailed on me to go and pass the day 
with her. There I met Julia, who had forgotten her 
constant swain, Colonel Cotton, though he still 
appeared to adore her. She had fallen madly in love 
with Sir Harry Mildmay, who, for a short time, seemed 
to return her passion and was really attentive to her, 
till somebody at Melton Mowbray asked him one day 
what the deuce he was doing with an old woman who 
might be his mother ! All the love Mildmay ever 
felt for any daughter of Eve originated in vanity, 
and was fed and nourished by vanity, therefore, I need 
not add, that he cut Julia from that hour, and from 
that hour Julia's passion for him regularly increased ; 
although it was unmixed or unpurified by the least 
atom of affection. 

I inquired after Sophia, who had not been per- 
mitted to visit me because the scarlet fever was con- 
sidered infectious. She was still living in the shabby, 
confined lodging Deerhurst had provided for her, and 
Deerhurst also continued to provide her with currant 
wine and raisin wine 1 He saw but little of her, and 
the less the better for the taste of Sophia, who declared 
176 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

that water was by no means an indispensable requisite 
at that nobleman's toilette. In short he was as much 
afraid of it as though he had been bitten by a mad dog. 

I desire to know who consoled her for Deerhurst's 
dirtiness, and Deerhurst's neglect, and was told by 
Fanny that Colonel Berkeley tried hard to make him- 
self agreeable, to which Julia added, " He is there 
from morning till night." 

" And how does Sophia like him ? " 

" She dislikes him particularly. Henry De Roos is 
less disagreeable to her, I believe ; but Sophia does 
not trouble her head for an instant about any man ; 
only she really does wish that Deerhurst would wash 
himself a little more, and in particular his head." 

Fanny went on to say that somebody told him what 
Sophia said on the subject, and Deerhurst, having 
accused her of circulating these stories out of school, 
asked her if he was not remarkably nice in his person. 

" I think so," Sophia answered, " very nice indeed, 
I always said so." 

Being still very weak I left them early in the 
evening, and, passing by Amy's door on my road 
home, I observed a carriage waiting, very like the 
Duke of Argyle's. I could not possibly be in love 
with Argyle that was very certain. I had of late 
given too many absurd proofs of love for another ; and 
yet I had never ceased to admire and like him. He 
had lately been my sole friend, and his attention had 
promoted my recovery. In short, my nerves had 
undergone a shock, which to this day I have not 
recovered, nor ever have I enjoyed nor shall I, most 
probably, enjoy another hour's health. 

At that time a mere nothing affected me. I hastily 
pulled the check-string and requested my servant to 
inquire of the coachman if that was really the equipage 
of His Grace. He was answered in the affirmative. 
I am ashamed to confess how much and how long this 
circumstance affected me. It was painful to my heart 
to acknowledge a sister so unnatural, and it caused 
another relapse. Amy heard the occasion of it and, 
-i M 177 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

sporting fine feelings, one fine morning after having 
by my kind recommendation lived with Argyle more 
than a month and become pregnant by him, she came 
suddenly into my room and, observing my deathlike 
aspect, began to blubber downright. 

Hypocrisy was very disgusting to me. I had, in 
full, warm, sisterly confidence introduced her to the 
duke and praised her to him, till I changed his disgust 
into something like partiality : dressed her up in my 
own elegant clothes, because hers were always as 
shabby as they were showy, in the style of her black- 
pudding dinners and champagne suppers : and she 
intruded herself into my house, warm from the 
embraces of my lover, to show off tenderness ! I 
experienced a sudden fit of rage almost amounting to 
madness. 

" You disgusting, deceitful creature ! " I ex- 
claimed, locking her in my room and taking out 
the key, " since you have forced your company on me 
you shall repent it." 1 then looked round for some 
instrument to execute vengeance ! 

Readers, can you conceive anything half so mon- 
strous, half so ruinous to black-pudding men, so 
destructive to the rising generation ? 

I was just thinking about killing her ! 

Amy opened the window, and called out to a boy 
in the street, that a wicked woman who was no better 
than she should be had locked her in. 

" I shouldn't wonder," answered the boy, laughing 
and running away, "a pair of you, no doubt ! " 

I, by this time, was heartily ashamed of having been 
thus surprised into temporary madness, owing to the 
extreme irritability of my nerves. 

" Go out of the house," said I, " for God's sake ; 
there is something too indelicate and disgusting in 
your pity. You are very welcome to live with 
Argyle, if you can endure the idea. I certainly felt 
the loss of a friend, in my present low nervous state ; 
but His Grace knows well that I have been in love 
with another for the last three years, one on whom 
178 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

your soft circular effusions made not the slightest 
impression, unless of disgust." 

I hastened out of the room and locked myself in 
my bed-chamber. Amy's visit, I afterwards found, 
was in consequence of the anxiety Argyle had ex- 
pressed concerning my health, and Amy guessed that 
she must show off sisterly affection, or Argyle would 
dislike her ! 

The next day Argyle visited me. He was very 
melancholy, arid had scarcely shaved since Lady 

W 's death, which had lately taken place. He 

reminded me that, when he dearly loved me, I never 
gence'd myself or him ; that he was now unhappy and 
could have devoted himself to me ; but that he saw 
no hopes of a steady return. 

" Yes ! but then a sister ! " said I ; " the idea to me 
is so disgusting but do not let us dwell on it, I 
forgive anything in your conduct which has caused 
me pain, and destroyed the possibility of our ever 
being more than friends for the rest of our lives : 
and yet I trust we shall never be less. A very trifle 
affects me now ; so do not be too vain, nor attribute 
to sentiment what is due to the scarlet fever. You 
believed me incapable of steady regard ; because I 
did not fix my undivided affections on you, after I 
had learned, from your own letter, now in my posses- 
sion, that you could not be wholly mine. Is that fair, 
or rather are not you a terrible coxcomb, master 
Argyle ? 

" Apropos, for here must end all sentiment between 
us, so, to talk of something else, Mr. Colman accuses 
you of having cut him dead in the Park yesterday 
when he bowed to you." 

" What a vulgar fellow ! " Argyle remarked. 

" Why vulgar ? " 

" It is a vulgar idea, and one which certainly never 
occurred to me ; not because I happen to be Duke 
of Argyle ; for a private gentleman's rank in society 
is the same as mine ; therefore what right have I to 
cut him ? or what right would any duke have to cut 

179 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

a private gentleman ? If a man does not return my 
bow I take it for granted he is absent, or not in the 
humour, or thinking of something else. Tell Mr. 
Colman he is an ass, my dear pretty " 

" Argyle ! " interrupted I, " no more dear prettys, 
if you please. I have left off being pretty ; but 
thank God I am heartwhole, and propose remaining 
so to the end of my natural life. Nevertheless, 
whatever the cause may be, I am truly sorry to see 
you so changed, and so melancholy." 

" Thank you," returned Argyle, sighing. " Then 
oblige me, and don't tell anybody in the world that I 
am unhappy." 

His Grace seemed to leave me with regret. I did 
riot invite him to repeat his visit. 

My health soon after this began to improve rapidly. 
My late fever seemed to have carried away all the 
oppression on my chest, except what was the mere 
effect of debility. 

I took an early opportunity of paying Sophia a 
visit, and I had scarcely time to inquire after that young 
lady's petite socicte, before Colonel Berkeley was an- 
nounced. It was in the evening, at about eight 
o'clock. He was very lively and agreeable, which I 
think was generally the case with him. The man 
bears an indifferent character and, perhaps, with 
some reason ; but I have always seen him pleasant, 
and I never knew or heard of his breaking his word. 
His fancy for Sophia did not prevent his being polite 
and attentive to me, as often happens with ill-bred 
young men of the present day. 

In less than half an hour after Colonel Berkeley's 
arrival in bounced Lord Deerhurst, in an agony of 
tears ! 

" Oh Sophy ! Sophy ! " exclaimed his lordship, 
blubbering and wiping his eyes with a very dirty, 
little, old, red pocket-handkerchief " Oh Sophy, I 
never thought you would have used me in this way ! " 

Sophy declared herself innocent, which was indeed 
the fact as far as regarded Colonel Berkeley. 
180 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" I cannot bear it," continued Deerhurst, rushing 
out of the room, like the strolling representative of a 
tragic king in a barn, and, seating himself on the 
stairs, near the street-door, to sob and blubber more 
at his ease. 

Colonel Berkeley looked at his lordship in utter 
astonishment, exclaiming, " My good fellow, what the 
devil is the matter ? " 

" Why ! did you not " he paused. 

" Did he not what ? " I asked. 

" Oh, Lord ! oh, dear I " roared out Deerhurst. 

u Don't take on so, my lord,*' interposed Sophia's 
fat landlady, offering his lordship a glass of water. 

Deerhurst accepted it with apparent gratitude, as 
though quite subdued. 

" Could you have believed it, madam ? " said he. 
" Did you believe that young creature was so 
depraved ? " 

" What do you mean by depraved ? " I asked. 
" Why I can answer for it, Sophia has never given 
Colonel Berkeley the slightest encouragement, and 
beyond a mere yes or no she never opens her lips to 
him." 

" Oh! don't tell me ! don't tell me ! " still blubbered 
his lordship, the big tears rolling down his cheeks. 

" This is incredibly astonishing ! " ejaculated Colonel 
Berkeley, in a very natural tone of surprise. 

" What is incredibly astonishing ? " I asked. " I am 
determined to understand this. In fact, I think I have 
guessed already. Lord Deerhurst, by the restoration 
of his annuity, will put two hundred pounds a year 
into his pocket on Sophia's first act of infidelity. 
You are his friend, and have done nothing but express 
your astonishment at his lordship's tears and apparent 
jealousy ever since he came blubbering into the room ; 
therefore, since his arrival so quickly succeeded yours, 
I will lay my life you two desperate mauvais sujets 
came here together ! " 

" Nonsense ! " replied Colonel Berkeley, laughing. 

" I am now sure of it," added I. 

181 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Colonel Berkeley slily nodded assent to my remark. 

Deerhurst was smelling a bottle of hartshorn, which 
Sophia's landlady held fast to the end of his nose. 
Berkeley addressed Sophia in a whisper. Deerhurst 
jumped up like a madman, and was leaving the room. 

" My good fellow," said the colonel, taking Lord 
Deerhurst by the arm, for this excellent acting had 
really deceived even Berkeley himself, whom his lord- 
ship had brought to Sophia's door in his own carriage 
for the express purpose of taking her off* his hands, 
" if you really are annoyed at my visit, if you have 
changed your mind only say so, and 1 give you my 
word I will not call on Sophia again. Be a man ! 
don't make this noise and bellowing ; but tell me 
frankly what you wish. You and I are old friends," 

Deerhurst said that his feelings were wounded and 
his heartstrings cracked ; therefore he must go home 
and get them mended : and he darted out of the 
house. 

" What the deuce can all this mean ? " said Berkeley. 
" The man really is unhappy. I must go after him." 

" Take me with you," I said, "just to gratify my 
curiosity." 

"With, all my heart," replied Berkeley, " if my 
carriage is at the door." 

" Did not you drive here in it ? " 

" No," whispered he, " Deerhurst brought me with 
him, and I desired my coachman to follow, with my 
vis-a-vis" 

We found it at the door, and were set down at 
Lord Deerhurst 's house in Half Moon Street. 

We were shown into the drawing-room, where, 
after waiting about five minutes, his lordship half- 
opened the door of his bedroom, which was the one 
adjoining, and showed us such a merry looking face, 
qiiil rietait plus reconnaissable. 

" Glad to see you both," said his lordship, wiping 
his hands with a very dirty towel. " Will you come 
in ? But you must excuse the disorder. You know 
it is a mere bachelor's room," continued he, lighting a 
182 



* MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

long tallow-candle by a short piece, which was burning 
in a broken candlestick. 

" Why don't you ride and tye regularly with your 
two muttons," said I, " when you want to be econo- 
mical ? and then no one would know they had not 
been allowed to burn on together with an equal flame 
like you and Sophia." 

" Oh Lord ! " said Deerhurst, laughing, " I can't cry 
any more at this moment, for I have just washed my 
face." 

"But seriously," Colonel Berkeley observed, "I 
have followed you because, upon my soul, I do not 
understand you. I want to know whether my atten- 
tions to Sophia are really disagreeable ; for I don't 
see how a man could command so many tears to flow 
at pleasure." 

" Oh ! there was a boy at Westminster could cry a 
great deal better than I can," said Deerhurst. 

" I won't believe you," retorted Berkeley, laughing, 
" unless you'll sit down on that chair and favour me 
with another cry : and first ring for some proper 
candles, will you? How came those stinking 
butchers' candles in your room ? " 

" Bachelor, you know, bachelor ! " said Deerhurst, 
grinning. 

" What the devil has that to do with it ? " exclaimed 
Berkeley. 

Deerhurst excused himself, declaring that tears, 
even sham ones, must be spontaneous : " And yet," 
said he, sinking into an arm-chair, and again taking 
out the selfsame dirty, little, red, calico pocket- 
handkerchief, "and yet, though I appear a wild, 
profligate, hardened young man, I never think of 
that sweet girl Sophia without its bringing tears into 
my eyes : " and he blubbered aloud, and again the big 
tears rolled down his cheeks. 

" This would melt a heart of stone," I observed, 
putting on my cloak, " so I am off." 

"What! won't you have any more?" said Deer- 
hurst, jumping up and laughing. 

183 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Capital ! " exclaimed Berkeley, taking up his hat. 

" Why, you are not going to trust yourself in that 
rake's carriage alone ? " said Deerhurst to me. 

" I am afraid there is no danger," answered I. 

" Some of the most virtuous ladies in England have 
been attacked by the gay colonel until they have 
called out murder; and two of them lost their 
diamond brooches coming from the Opera, before 
they could get hold of the check-string " 

"Or cry out, stop thief!" added I. "For my 
part I have more reasons than one for believing the 
colonel to be very harmless in a carriage, or I should 
not have ventured. I, too, have heard of his gallant 
feats of prowess in chariots and vis-a-vis f but I will 
tell you a story : There was a pretty, elegant 
Frenchwoman joined my party one night after the 
Opera, and explained to me the mere accident which 
threw her on my charity for a safe conveyance home. 
I had already Fanny, Julia, and little Fanny, as we 
called my young niece, to carry home, and only a 
chariot. What was to be done ? The rain fell in 
torrents. It was on a Tuesday night, and there was 
nobody in the round room that anybody knew, as 
that fool of a Brummell used to say, except Colonel 
Berkeley, who joined us immediately. In spite of 
the most prolific account I had heard of the gay 
colonel, I considered my friend old enough to take 
care of herself : and, as to sending her three miles in 
such a costume, at such an hour, and in such weather, 
the thing was out of the question : so I told Berkeley 
that I must intrude on his politeness to set my friend 
down. ' To oblige you, with great pleasure,' was his 
prompt reply, before he had even looked in the face 
of the young Frenchwoman, to whom I presented 
him, when he assured her his coachman waited for 
her commands. 

" The next morning I made it a point to call and 
inquire after madame's health. She thanked me for 
having procured her so polite an acquaintance. ' I 
hope he was polite,' said I, * for, to tell you the truth, 
184 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

I very unwillingly placed you under his protection.' 
' Why ? ' asked my friend. ' To be frank with you,' 
I replied, 'Colonel Berkeley is said to be such a 
terrible fellow that no woman can safely remain a 
single instant tete-a-tte with him, particularly in a 
carriage. I understand he attacks both old and 
young, virtuous and wicked, handsome and ugly, 
maid, wife and widow.' 

** * And sal I be de only exception ? ' asked the 
Frenchwoman, in real dismay. 

" ' What then,' I inquired, in astonishment, ' are 
you sorry he was not impudent to you ? ' * I do not 
conceive what you have told me, impudence,' con- 
tinued the Frenchwoman, ' nous prenons cela autre- 
ment, en France. De only impudence vat I sal never 
forgive, is dat Colonel Berkeley have presumed to 
make me de exception and, if I ever meet him in de 
street, je lui cracker ai au nezS 

" ' Non pas ! non pas ! ' rejoined I, ' you are too 
pretty to have been an exception. It is a mere false 
character they have given the colonel, or may be he 
set it about himself. For my part, I will take the 
first opportunity of getting into his carriage, in order 
to convince you of another exception, that you may 
hold up your head with the best of us.' " This night 
has already proved I was right. 

" Oh, Lord, what a falling off is here ! " said Deer- 
hurst to Berkeley. 

" I had no desire for your Frenchwoman," replied 
the colonel, " and, as for you, if you would not fall in 
love with me some time ago, when I was your very 
humble servant, what chance had I after you had 
seen me making love to Sophia ? Besides my poor 
brother Augustus is going mad for you, Harriette, 
and, apropos of him, you really treat him very ill." 

" I mean to have that young gentleman confined 
to a madhouse," said I, " if he conducts himself in 
such a strange way again as he did last Saturday ; 
throwing himself on his knees in my box, and acting 
his Cheltenham-tragedies at the opera." 

185 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" He is very handsome," Deerhurst observed. 

" A mere ruffian ! " I retorted. 

" Do not be so severe on poor Augustus," said 
Colonel Berkeley, who was always the most affec- 
tionate brother 1 ever met with in my life. " He is 
a sailor, you know, and upon my honour he is very 
fond of you. I want you and Sophia to favour me 
with your company to dine at Richmond on Monday, 
and, if you will trust yourself to my care, I will drive 
my barouche." 

" Willingly," answered I. 

" But this is not all," continued the Colonel. " I 
am commissioned to intercede for Augustus." 

" I am off then," said I, " for your brother is much 
too rude for my present state of health, and would I 
know tease me into a fever." 

" Upon my word," said Berkeley, " I can make him 
do just what I please, and I have only interceded for 
him after receiving his promise not to say or do any- 
thing that can possibly offend." 

The engagement was concluded for Monday, and 
Deerhurst begged to be of our party. 

" No more of your rural fighting parties for me," I 
hastily observed, " and I neither like eggs and bacon 
nor pot-houses to eat my dinner in." 

" No ! " said Berkeley, laughing heartily, " did he 
really give you eggs and bacon for dinner ? " 

" And in the dog-days too ! " continued I. 

We then took our leave, arid Colonel Berkeley 
set me down at my own door in perfect safety. 



186 



CHAPTER X 

THE next day I dined with Julia, Fanny was of the 
party. Julia was raving about Sir Henry Mildmay, 
by whom she professed to be pregnant. The shy 
Julia gloried in ihis faux pas. 

" What mortal could have resisted such an angel ! " 
exclaimed Julia. 

" And Cotton ? " added I. 

" By your advice," replied Julia, " I have refused to 
receive him but as a friend." 

" Certainly," said I ; " I do think it wicked to put 
ourselves in the way of increasing a large family of 
children, only to starve them. You are the mother 
of six already, which is five more than your slender 
fortune can support." 

" I shall have seven thousand a year at the death of 
my brother, who is in a decline," said Julia, whose 
eyes were very red as though she had been weeping. 

To my inquiry, " What was the matter ? " Fanny 
answered, " That the foolish creature had done nothing 
but shed tears from morning till night." 

" If I could only once more have Mildmay in my 
arms," said Julia, " I should have lived long enough." 

" And who is to protect Mildmay's child ? " I asked. 

" I would rather die than apply to him for money," 
answered Julia ; " but my poor child will never see 
the light," and she burst into tears, " unless I see its 
beautiful father once more." 

" Will once do ? " I asked. 

" I would be patient and resigned if I could kiss his 
heavenly eyes once more." 

187 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Etpuis ? " said Fanny. 

"Sans doutef pa va, sans dire" added Julia. 

" Pas toujours" I remarked however, giving my 
hand to Julia, " there is my hand on it, it shall be 
done, ma'am, and before this week is out, we pledge to 
you our royal word ! " 

Strange to say, this promise satisfied Julia, who 
immediately dried up her tears. 

After dinner, a young member of Parliament, of 
immense fortune, brought his carriage for Fanny. 
He was a Hampshire gentleman, of the name of 
Napier, who had been lately very attentive to her ; 
but Fanny did not like him. He was a long-backed 
youth, with very fine eyes, and that was all : a sort of 
home-bred young man, not ungentlemanlike but 
wanting tact and spirit. 

Soon after his arrival Fanny took me out of the 
room and asked me how I liked him. 

" Oh 1 not in the least," I answered. 

" I wish," said Fanny, " he would attach himself to 
poor Julia : her children arid her debts and her natural 
turn for extravagance will send her to a prison, unless 
a rich man like this would take her under his protec- 
tion. Now, as I am determined not to have him 
myself I have left them together, that he may draw 
her into conversation, and find out the truth of her 
being one of the most elegant women in England." 

" You are very good," said I, laughing. 

" What else can be done ? " Fanny asked. " If 
Julia goes to prison, she will immediately destroy 
herself; and how easily this Napier, who has more 
than twenty thousand a year, can assist her and pay 
off all her debts, seeing that he lives on three thousand, 
and possesses in hard cash at his banker's more than a 
hundred thousand pounds." 

" Oh 1 the vile, stingy monster 1 " said I, " where did 
he spring from ? " 

" From Oxford College," answered Fanny ; " but 
his estates are in Ireland." 

When we returned to the drawing-room, Napier 
188 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

did seem to have fallen in love with Julia's manner, 
and to be delighted with her conversation. How- 
ever, he soon placed himself by Fanny's side, to make 
as much love as usual. " This is very poor sort of 
amusement for me, ladies," said 1, " so I shall wish 
you all a very good night." 

Fanny declared that she would accompany me. 

Napier called her a coquette, and a false deceiver, 
reminding her of her promise to allow him to see her 
home. 

"Cannot help it," answered Fanny, kissing her 
hand to him, and hurrying downstairs. 

Napier offered me his arm, to follow, and Julia held 
up her finger significantly to me, saying, " Remem- 
ber." 

" Oui, out" was my reply ; and, after Napier had 
handed us into our carriage, we requested him to 
return and chat with Julia. " A niece of Lord 
Carysfort," added I, " daughter to a maid of honour, 
the Honourable Mrs. Storer, and the most graceful 
creature breathing." 

"Why," said Fanny, bursting out into a loud 
laugh, " Harriette, that madman with his placard and 
his challenge to all the world about Bayley's blacking, 
in Piccadilly, is a fool to you." 

" Never mind," I answered, " so that we can but 
get her off, and save her from a prison." 

Before the carriage drove from the door, we had 
the satisfaction of seeing Napier return to Julia et 
puis et puis but I will tell what happened some 
other time. 

On our way home Fanny told me how irregularly 
her allowance from the late Mr. Woodcock was paid, 
and that her boy George's schoolmaster had been 
dunning her for money due to him, which she could 
not pay. 

" How good you are then," said I, " to make over 
your rich conquest to Julia." 

" There is no goodness in that," answered Fanny, 
whose heart was so very warm, that she was always 

189 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

afraid of incurring ridicule from the extreme of a 
good thing ; " for if Julia had never been born 1 am 
sure I could not have endured that long-backed, 
amorous-looking Napier ; besides every one must pity 
poor Julia, deserted as she is ! " 

" But then this stupid Mildmay, whose character 
was so well known to her ! what had she to expect 
from him, who has never in his life been suspected of 
constancy for a single week ! " 

" And yet," said Fanny, " I really, myself, believed 
he loved Julia. You have no idea how attentive he 
had been to her during your last illness, from which, 
thank God ! you are happily recovering," added 
Fanny. " I have not seen you look so like yourself 
for the last twelve months." 

" I am better," answered I, " and yet, life is dull 
without affection, and all my bright illusions are 
destroyed for ever; but I have most pleasure now 
when I can make myself a little useful ; so you must 
let me take George off your hands. I am richer than 
you are, I will therefore pay his schoolmaster, and 
you must send him to me to-morrow. When his 
holidays are expired, I will myself take him back to 
school." 

Fanny said I was very good, and I answered 
" fiddlestick ! " as I set her down at her own house. 

My mind was now a complete blank. My imagina- 
tion was exhausted ; my castle had fallen to the 
ground and I never expected to rebuild it ; for even 
my cool judgment told me that Ponsonbys were not 
often to be met with. 

I had no fancy for going down hill, so I bought 
a great many books and determined to make them 
my object. I lived very retired, and when I did go 
out or admit company it was more because I was 
teased into it than from any pleasure I found in 
society. 

Little George Woodcock came to me the next 
morning, and before the week was out he had broken 
190 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

open my jewel-box, stolen my money, kissed my 
housemaid, and half-killed my footman. I looked 
forward with much anxiety to the period for taking 
him back to school. His schoolmaster was an old 
Frenchman who lived at Leytonstone. Julia's three 
sons and my nephew had boarded with him four 
years. 

" Mastaire Johnstones know very veil," said the 
old Frenchman, when, at the beginning of the holi- 
days, he had called on Fanny to make his compliments 
of her son and heir, " de young Mastaire Johnstones 
know very well, dat I always tell de boys dat dey 
must larne ; but for Mastaire Woodcock, it is de boy 
of my school ! Some time I lose him six, seven 
hours, and, at last, I find him at de top of von apple- 
tree ! Den as for boxing, he is box ! box ! two, tree, 
six time in a day. I believe very soon, he will 
box me ! " 

Fanny promised to give him good advice, and the 
old French schoolmaster took his leave, after declar- 
ing that if young Woodcock continued to be de boy 
of his school for the next quarter, he must be under 
the necessity to turn him out of it. 

Luttrell called on me the following day, and was 
greatly amused with the engagement which I told 
him I had entered into with Julia. He informed me 
that Fred Lamb was arrived from the court of some- 
where, I think Sicily, and had expressed a very strong 
desire to be allowed to visit me. 

" Tell him," said I, " that I am worn out, and tired 
of the world, and good for nothing." 

Luttrell, being our father-confessor general, to 
whom we all related everything, I asked him if he 
knew how Napier's tete-a-tete with Julia went off. 

" Oh, I have just left the enemy," answered Luttrell, 
alluding to Amy, "who told me that Napier had 
made a violent attack on the virtue of Lord Carys- 
fort's niece, in consequence of my flourishing pane- 
gyric, which had only served to prove her adamant 
to all but Sir Henry Mildmay." 

191 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Apropos of that gay baronet," said I, opening my 
writing desk, "such virtue as you describe in this 
fair daughter of a maid of honour must not go 
unrewarded ; " and I wrote a polite note to Mildmay, 
desiring him to call upon me in the evening. 

Soon after Luttrell had taken his leave, old Smith 
the haberdasher was announced, with more returned 
bills. 

" Angels defend us ! " said I, " what am I to say to 
him this time ? " I looked in the glass, settled my 
headdress as becomingly as possible, and trusted to 
my charms and soft speeches for subduing his anger 
as usual. 

As I entered I caught a full view of my friend 
Smith in the glass ; he was pacing the room with 
sturdy firmness, as though preparing himself for a 
desperate attack. His brow was knit, and, in his 
hand he held the fatal black pocket-book which I had 
no doubt contained my bills, six or seven times 
returned on his hands. " Avec tout mon savoirfaire, je 
craignaisde ratter le procureur" as Laura says in Gil 
Bias ; 1 therefore returned to my bedroom unseen, 
and desired my faithful housekeeper, Mrs. Kennedy, 
to declare that her mistress had been seized with a fit 
on her way downstairs, and that, during the last 
attack of this sort, with which she had been afflicted, 
she had actually bitten her nurse's thumb clean off*. 

" Will you like to step up and see her ? " added 
Kennedy. 

" No, no, I thank you," answered Smith, putting on 
a pair of his thickest beaver gloves as though to defend 
his thumbs. " Some other time if you please. My 
compliments : " and he was hurrying away. 

" You will oblige me by stepping upstairs," said 
Kennedy, " as I really am frightened out of my wits ; 
and Miss Wilson requires at least three persons to 
hold her when in these fits, and our William is just 
gone out with a letter to Sir Henry Mildmay 's." 

" Very sorry to hear it," replied Smith running 
downstairs. " 1 regret that I have such a particular 
192 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

engagement that I cannot stay another instant," and 
he immediately gained the street-door, which he took 
care to fasten safely, as soon as he was on what he now 
conceived the right side of it. 

In the evening, Mildmay arrived at the hour I had 
appointed, believing no doubt, that the poor tender 
soul, Harriette Wilson, would not survive his neglect. 
He was proceeding in a very summary way to practical 
love-making 

" Attendez, un instant, mon ange ! " said I. " I am 
Julia's friend; besides, I have no opinion of you." 

" In what way ? " 

u In the way you wish to shine ! I believe you to 
be cold, and I hate cold men." 

" Try me," answered Mildmay. 

" Jc ne demande pas irdeuoc. Give me the proof 
I am going to ask, of your real genuine ardour, and I 
shall hereafter look up to you as something superior 
to the rest of mankind." 

" Explain 1 " said Sir Henry. 

" Well then, there is Julia, of whom I know you 
are completely tired. Only enable her to praise you 
to me to-morrow evening, and I think I shall not be 
able to resist you." 

* Will you promise ? " Mildmay asked. 

" What is the use of a promise to such a beautiful 
creature as you, who know yourself to be irresistible." 

Mildmay looked pleased. I made him sing to me ; 
and I must really have been very deficient in good 
taste if I had not expressed my admiration of the 
sweetness of his voice and expression. When I had 
completely flattered and praised him into excellent 
temper, I made him promise to visit Julia by two the 
next day. 

" Shall I find you there ? " Mildmay inquired, " and 
will you give me a kiss ? otherwise, upon my honour, 
with the best possible intention to distinguish myself 
1 am afraid." 

" Perhaps," said I, " you may find me with her ; but 
at all events recollect that you did like poor Julia, and 

I N 198 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

that 1 never to the day of my death will forgive you 
or speak to you if you , do not fulfil your promise to- 
morrow morning." 

"You treat me very ill," said Mildmay, " and yet, I 
suppose, you must be obliged. Only mind you must 
promise me there shall not be a scene between Julia 
and me. I cannot stand scenes, remember ! " 

" I was in hopes there would be act the fourth/' 
retorted I ; " but, seriously, what do you understand 
by a scene ? " 

"Reproaches and hysterics, and all that sort of 
thing," answered Mildmay. " Do tell Julia it will be 
of no use, but to spoil the moment, there is a dear 
creature/' 

" Poor Julia ! " I retorted. " Only recollect her 
situation, and pray, if you ever wish me to admire or 
like you do not be so very unfeeling." 

" Yes, I have heard all, and a pretty piece of busi- 
ness it is altogether," said Mildmay, evidently much 
annoyed by it. 

I refused to part with Mm till he had most faith- 
fully promised punctually at two the next morning. 
As soon as he was gone I despatched the following 
note: 

" DEAR JULIA, " Sir H. Mildmay has this morning 
given me his word and honour, on pain of my ever- 
lasting displeasure, that he will attend your moderate 
commands to-morrow exactly at two o'clock, on con- 
dition that you do not give him a scene. Make my 
excuses to him for not joining you both. I dislike to 
be second fiddle of all things. 

" God bless you." 



194 



CHAPTER XI 

THE next day, the one fixed on by Colonel Berkeley 
for our trip to Richmond, Sophia and the Colonel 
called for me at twelve o'clock, accompanied by that 
young savage, Augustus Berkeley, who appeared to 
be perfectly well-behaved in the presence of his 
brother, quite mild and humbled. 

Sophia said it was a charming day. 

" The atmosphere/' I observed, " is heavy, I think, 
and unhealthy." 

" Oh, quite shocking," Sophia immediately replied, 
" I am absolutely ill with it already." 

We drove down to Richmond as fast as four high 
bred horses could carry us, and Colonel Berkeley, 
having ordered a dinner as much too ostentatiously 
extravagant as Deerhurst's rural fte had been too 
scanty, proposed our rowing down the river for half 
an hour, while it was getting ready. 

Augustus, at the word of command, took off his 
coat and waistcoat and began rowing, while Berkeley 
was all attention to us. 

" How delicious this is," said the Colonel. 

" I never saw anything so beautiful," echoed Sophia. 

I remarked that I was a little giddy. 

a So am I," said Sophia, " very giddy indeed." 

In less than an hour, I mentioned that the air of 
the river had given me an appetite, and Sophia, of 
course, had never been so hungry in all her life 1 

Colonel Berkeley on landing astonished the two 
boatmen by throwing them a five-pound note ! The 
innkeeper entertained us in his best and most magni- 

195 



MEMOIRS OP HARRIETTS WILSON 

ficent style. We conversed a great deal, for Colonel 
Berkeley can talk, which is not always the case nor 
considered at all a necessary accomplishment in 
gentlemen of the present day. There are in fact 
various kinds of gentlemen. A man is a gentleman, 
according to Berkeley Craven's definition of the word, 
who has no visible means of gaining his livelihood ; 
others have called Lord Deerhurst and Lord Barry- 
more and Lord Stair gentlemen, because they are 
Lords ; and the system at White's Club, the members 
of which are all choice gentlemen of course, is and 
ever has been never to blackball any man who ties a 
good knot in his handkerchief, keeps his hands out of 
his breeches-pockets, and says nothing. For my part, 
I confess I like a man who can talk and contribute to 
the amusement of whatever society he may be placed 
in ; and that is the reason I am always glad to find 
myself in the company of Lord Hertford, notwith- 
standing he is so often blackballed at White's. 

Colonel Berkeley and I conversed on many sub- 
jects ; but there was one which was a favourite with us 
both plays. Berkeley was mad for acting Shake- 
speare's plays, I for reading them. We were both lost 
in wonder as to how the poet, or any one man breathing, 
could have acquired such a perfect knowledge of 
human nature, in every class of society, in every 
gradation from kings downwards. I however pointed 
out one exception, remarking that I did not conceive, 
from the little I had seen or heard of Jews, that 
Shylock was at all a natural character or accurately 
drawn. "I never in my life," I continued, "remember 
having heard of a Jew being hanged for murder 1 
The Mosaic laws are less pure than ours ; but they 
are more strictly followed. The most malicious Jew 
dares not shed blood, his strong fear of God prevents 
it ; and that fear is religion. In short, such, I have 
heard, is the superstitious fear a Jew entertains of 
shedding blood, that even if he had made his mind 
up to take the life of a Christian, it would yet be 
accomplished without a drop of blood being spilt. I 
196 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

cannot with my very confined knowledge of these 
things venture to say that Jews have not been 
occasionally executed for murder ; but I can almost 
venture to assert that blood-shedding is far from the 
characteristic vice of a Jew ; and therefore is Shylock 
unnaturally drawn." 

" Recollect," returned Colonel Berkeley, " that 
Shylock is a Venetian Jew." 

I went on "And shall we attribute to these poor 
wanderers the peculiar crimes of every nation which 
may happen to give them birth, adding these to all 
the characteristic vices of their tribe ? If the mere 
climate made a Venetian of Shylock, why does 
Shakespeare point at him as an usurer ? If climate 
and example have no effect to make the Hebrew 
waver in his faith, is it charitable to suppose them 
more potent in tending to deaden the fear and horror 
of bloodshed in the mind of a poor Jew ? " 

" Bravo ! " said Colonel Berkeley, u very ingeniously 
argued. There's a cunning Israelite at the bottom of 
all this, who has won your heart." 

Sophia, for once in her life, ventured to be of a 
different opinion from her company, remarking that 
she was sure her sister Harriette could not love any 
of those nasty men, with long dirty beards and dirty 
old clothes on their backs. 

"I thank heaven," said I, "that I love no man; 
Jew, Christian, or Turk." 

" Why defend those nasty fellows then ? " asked 
Augustus. 

" Did you ever know any good of one of them ? " 
said the colonel. 

" A Jew, named Town," answered I, " a painter, 
who keeps a shop in Bond-street, went down to New- 
castle about five years ago, to sketch views in that 
country. One morning he observed a lad driving his 
cattle along a field whose countenance particularly 
struck him. His was a true Roman head. The boy 
was about twelve years of age. The Jew called to 
him and asked him if he would stand still while' he 

187 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

took his picture. The youth consented with good- 
nature ; but, after having stood stock still for a quarter 
of an hour, he declared that he could not bear it any 
longer. Mr. Town asked him many questions, and, 
being much surprised with the boy's sensible replies, 
inquired if he would like to go up to London with 
him. The lad hesitated. 

" ' You will not trust yourself with me then ? ' said 
the Jew. * I would go anywhere with you, sir ; but 
my poor father and mother are so old.' The Jew 
requested to be made known to them, and was con- 
ducted to a wretched hovel where the ancient pair 
resided. They immediately consented to place their 
child under the Jew-protector, and the next morning 
the Israelite and his young protege were on their road 
to London. On their arrival the Jew clothed the boy 
handsomely and instructed him in the first rudiments 
of his art. Before the child had received a dozen 
lessons, Mr. Town foretold that he would excel as a 
painter : he therefore bound him apprentice for seven 
years to himself, and stipulated to allow him ten shil- 
lings a week pocket-money for the first two years, and 
then to go on doubling that sum every second year to 
the end of his apprenticeship. The progress the youth 
made astonished the Jew. The child excelled most 
particularly in landscape-painting. Bred in the 
country, he had attentively observed the effect of 
lightning on trees and cattle. His gratitude to his 
kind benefactor knew no bounds, and his industry was 
indefatigable. Mr. Town, fearing lest from inexperi- 
ence the poor lad might be led astray or fall into bad 
company, instead of sending him to school engaged 
masters in the house, to instruct him in reading and 
writing. His progress in these was almost equal to 
that he had made in drawing. He became the delight 
and comfort of Mr. Town's aged father, on whom he 
was never tired of attending, he would read to him 
for hours together, and be grateful for the task. 

" One day the Jew sent his protege into the country 
to take a sketch of some willow trees, and was surprised 
198 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

to see him return in tears. * What is the matter my 
poor fellow ? ' said the Jew. ' That brook, near which 
I have been sitting to sketch these trees, sir, reminded 
me so much of one near my poor mother's hut,' 
answered the lad. * You shall go down to Newcastle, 
and pay a visit to your parents', said the benevolent 
Jew, * and it shall not cost you one shilling, so prepare 
yourself to depart by the coach next week.' The boy 
shed tears of gratitude. 

" On the day previous to his departure for New- 
castle, he said he wished to ask a favour of his kind 
master's only sister ; but feared it might be deemed 
impertinent. Being encouraged to proceed * Why, 
sir,' said the lad, * your great goodness has left me 
nothing to desire since the first instant I entered your 
house ; therefore, out of the allowance of pocket- 
money you have made me I have saved up eleven 
pounds, which I hope your sister will condescend to 
lay out for me in blankets and various other articles 
of comfort, which I am desirous of carrying down to 
my poor old parents. 9 The Jew gladly promised to 
prevail on his sister to do whatever he wished, and 
moreover assured the affectionate lad that he should 
be allowed to make a yearly visit to his parents as 
long as they lived, and always at his expense. Tell 
your parents that, though a Jew myself, I have not 
presumed to interfere with your former mode of 
worship ; but, on the contrary, have made you 
regularly attend the service of the Church of England, 
ever since you left them.' " 

Sophia was very much pleased with the story of 
the Newcastle shepherd-boy, and declared that she 
would go arid see him. 

Augustus thought he would play Romeo delight- 
fully ; but the colonel said the part of Douglas would 
suit him best. 

I, by this time, conceived I had talked quite enough 
for one evening. I therefore endeavoured [with all 
my might to call Sophia out, and draw her into some 
kind of conversation. 

199 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Berkeley was beginning to think himself trifled 
with, and, being naturally a little abrupt in such 
cases, he told her flatly that if she meant to refuse 
him after all, she ought not to have admitted him so 
often. 

Sophia continued to hint, with proper delicacy and 
due modest blushes, that her living with him or not 
must depend on what his intentions were : in other 
words, she gently intimated that as yet she was 
ignorant what settlement he meant to make on her. 
The gay handsome Colonel Berkeley's vanity being 
now so deeply wounded, he in his sudden rage 
entirely lost sight of what was due to the soft sex, 
at least to that part of it which had been so hard 
upon him. 

" Do you fancy me then so humble and so void of 
taste as to buy with my money the reluctant embraces 
of any woman breathing ? Do you think I cannot 
find friends who have proved their affection by the 
sacrifices they have made for me, that I should give 
my money to buy the cold-blooded being who cal- 
culates at fifteen years of age what the prostitution of 
her person ought to sell for ? " 

Sophia was frightened and shed tears. 

" Colonel Berkeley," said I, " we are your visitors 
and wish to retire immediately from such unmanly 
insult as you have offered to us. Will you procure 
us some safe conveyance ? No matter what." 

Colonel Berkeley immediately begged pardon with 
much apparent humility, saying, " I am a passionate, 
ill-tempered, spoiled fellow, and must throw myself 
on your charity ; or if you prefer it my carriage is at 
the service of you both, and neither I nor my brother 
shall intrude without your permission." 

I shook hands with him, as did Sophia, and little 
more was said. We all returned home together, but 
in silence, and Colonel Berkeley never afterwards 
sought Sophia's society. 

The next day I had the satisfaction of driving down 
to Leytonstone with my young torment of a nephew, 
200 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

and I left him under the protection of his school- 
master, Mr. Codroie. 

" Ah ! ah ! " said the Frenchman, " here is de boy of 
my school again." 

I assured George in his presence that if I heard any 
complaints, or if he was turned out of his school, 
I would use my interest to get him immediately sent 
to sea : but promised to give him every possible 
encouragement if I received a good account of him. 

I got home by about five o'clock, and found Fred 
Lamb in my little library looking over my books. I 
felt annoyed by this intrusion ; but Frederick appeared 
to take so strong an interest in all I had been reading 
and doing since we last met, that my heart failed me, 
after I tried to quarrel with him. 

u I never saw a girl, except yourself," said Frederick, 
" possessing unbounded liberty from the age of four- 
teen, without a single friend or anything better to 
guide her than her own romantic imagination, who 
yet contrives to grow wiser every year, to reflect, to 
read, and to improve her mind, in the midst of such 
flattery as you are surrounded by." 

Fred Lamb did actually say all this : but I do not 
tell my reader that I was vain enough to believe above 
half of it ; for, though I had bought my books to be 
ready, in case a fit of reading should happen to come 
over me, yet I must confess that, hitherto, I have not 
had a call, as Lord Headfort said. 

" Apropos to what ? " 

" I'll tell you 

" At Brighton, I used to make a general postman 
of the good Marquis of Headfort, who had long been 
our family's friend, equally at hand to congratulate 
us on our marriages, our birth-days, or our expected 
deaths. 'Send all your letters to me at Brighton, 
under cover to Headfort,' I used to say to everybody 
who could not frank, or were so cut off from the 
blessings of this life, as not to have a member belong- 
ing to them. Headfort, having a packet of letters 
to bring up to me every morning from the Pavilion 

201 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

to Prospect-house, which was the dignified appella- 
tion my landlord bestowed on my humble cottage 
at Brighton, I requested he would rap twice only ; 
according to the etiquette observed by other postmen. 

" ' How much ? ' one day asked my stupid new 
servant, for which I discharged her on the spot, for 
how could one live with an animal so little alive to 
the sublime and beautiful, as to have mistaken the 
Marquis of Headfort, wrapped up in an old great 
coat on a rainy day, for a common general postman ! 
I was really very much shocked indeed. 

" * Come upstairs, my dear Marquis,' said I, A and 
see me discharge this fool directly.' 

" Take off your great coat. 

" * Ah ! vous voila, Marquis, de haut en has. Dites, 
done, mon c/ier 9 en par J ant du has, who do you make 
love to now ? for it cannot be supposed a gay deceiver 
like yourself can be satisfied with old Mrs. Massey all 
your life, although that crim. con. affair of yours did 
cost you so much money.' 

" * Oh, my dear child,' answered poor Headfort, fc it 
is more than ten years since Mrs. Massey has cut me 
dead, as her lover.' 

" Why ? ' I asked. 

" ' Don't you know, my dear, that she has turned 
methodist, and thinks it wicked.' 

" ' But then,' said I, * it is still lucky for you, that 
her conscience permits her to make use of your house, 
purse, equipage and private boxes ! ' 

4g * Yes,' said Headfort, ' she still does me that 
honour ; for which I pay very dear, particularly on a 
Sunday, when she reads me Letters from the Dead 
to the Living, till I am almost tempted to wish her 
own signature at the bottom of them.' 

" * With whom pray do you console yourself ? ' 

" I have not had a call, my dear, for the last five 
years ! ' 

" < It will come on you when you shall be born 
again, by the assistance of Mrs. Massey 's prayers,' I 
remarked." 
202 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

I am, however, wandering from my subject. 

No matter, it was a very bad one 1 

It was Fred Lamb who dined with me, read to me, 
talked of love to me, and looked all passion, just like 
the satyr of my vision. 

' What vision, pray ? ' the reader asks ; that is to 
say if ever I should be honoured with a reader, which 
is not at all certain. I am ready prepared and armed 
for abuse of every sort and kind : but not to be read ! 
No matter ! If this happens, it will be entirely Stock- 
dale's fault, for not enlivening the work with pretty 
pictures as I have suggested to him, and certainly 
cannot, by the most remote possibility, be owing to 
any demerit of mine ! 

Above all, I wanted Wellington to be exhibited, 
dripping with wet, standing opposite my street-door 
at midnight, bawling up to Argyle, who should be 
representing my old Abigail, from my bed-room 
window. Good gracious ! I quite forgot to tell this 
adventure ! How could I be so ridiculous and negli- 
gent ? Never mind, you shall have it now But there 
is poor Fred Lamb waiting all this time, in my select 
library ! I can't help it There's no getting on with 
Fred Lamb. I never could use him to any purpose 
in all my life ; and yet there's matter enough in him 
too 1 What matters that ? Let it stand over, or let 
it pass. Fred Lamb can read Zimmerman, which he 
will find among my books. It will teach him to love 
solitude and to profit by it, while my readers amuse 
themselves with the interesting adventure which 
happened on the very night of Wellington's arrival 
from Spain, and which I beg a thousand pardons for 
not having made them acquainted with in due order 
and proper time. 

" Good news ! Glorious news ! Who calls ? " 
said Master Puff, the newsman. Not that anybody 
called the least in the world ; but Wellington was 
really said to have won a mighty battle and was 
hourly expected. Cannons were fired and much tallow 
consumed in illumination. His Grace of Argyle came 

203 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

to me earlier than usual on that memorable evening ; 
but, being unwell and love-sick, he found me in my 
bed-chamber. 

" Quelle bizarre idee vous passe par la t&te ? " said I, 
" Surely you have forgotten the amiable duchess, his 
bride, and all the fatigue His Grace encountered, 
enough to damp the ardour of any mighty hero or 
plenipotentiary, for one evening at any rate ; there- 
fore, trust me, Wellington will not disturb us to 
night." 

At this very moment a thundering rap at the door 
was heard. 

" Vive T amour ! Vive la guerre" said Argyle 
" Le voila ! " And hastily throwing my dressing-gown 
over his shoulders, and putting on one of my old night- 
caps, having previously desired " the most particlerst 
man as is " not to let anybody in, hastily put his head 
out of my bedroom window, which was on the second 
floor, and soon recognised the noble chieftain, Well- 
ington ! Endeavouring to imitate the voice of an 
old duenna, Argyle begged to know who was at the 
door. 

"Come down I say," roared this modern Blue 
Beard, " and don't keep me here in the rain, you old 
blockhead.'" 

" Sir," answered Argyle, in a shrill voice, " you 
must please to call your name, or I don't dare to come 
down, robberies are so frequent in London just at this 
season, and all the sojers, you see, coming home from 
Spain, that it's quite alarming to poor lone women." 

Wellington took off his hat, and held up towards the 
lamp a visage, which late fatigue and present vexation 
had rendered no bad representation of that of the 
knight of the woeful figure. While the rain was 
trickling down his nose, his voice, trembling with rage 
and impatience, cried out, "You old idiot, do you 
know me now ? " 

" Lord, sir," answered Argyle, anxious to prolong 
this ridiculous scene, " I can't give no guess ; and do 
you know sir, the thieves have stolen a new water- 
204 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

butt out of our airy, not a week since, and my missis 
is more timbersome than ever ! " 

" The devil ! " vociferated Wellington, who could 
endure no more, and, muttering bitter imprecations 
between his closed teeth against all the duennas and 
old women that had ever existed, returned home to 
his neglected wife and family duties. 

That's all ! 

But I am digressing from Fred Lamb 1 What is 
to be done ? unless he turn freemason, and tie me to 
his apron-strings ! I wish I had let him alone instead 
of handing him into my library ; he is quite a weight 
on my mind 1 Perhaps the reader will allow me to 
cut the subject where it stands ? But I should like 
to tell them about The Cock at Sutton, too. 

Of course, you all know The Cock at Sutton ? or, 
lest any lady or gentleman should be so deficient in 
tact, so behindhand in topographical knowledge, so 
unacquainted with public characters, suppose I just 
mention that the celebrated athletic Jackson, the gen- 
tleman bruiser and prize-fighter, once shouldered and 
insinuated himself into the good graces of the fair 
widow who kept The Cock at Sutton, which after- 
wards became his for several years by right of marriage 
and rights of a landlord ; hence its celebrity. 

However, the story I have to relate, has nothing 
to do with Jackson, else I could about it straight : 
but there is a fatality attending on Fred Lamb, and, 
though I am bored to death with him, I don't like 
to miss telling you the story of The Cock at Sutton ! 
and so here goes, to use mad Dr. Robertson's 
elegant expression. 

I could only get Fred Lamb out of my library, by 
promising him that we certainly should meet once 
more, if only to sign and seal my forgiveness of 
his former violence. 

" Well then," said Frederick at last, " I shall come 
up from Brocket Hall the day after to-morrow, and 
I will call on you on my way to town, and, if you do 
not desire and wish to see me, order your servant not 

205 



MEMOIRS OF HABRIETTE WILSON 

to let me in ; for I should be very sorry of forcing 
your inclinations a second time." 

The next day, being of course deeply affected with 
Fred Lamb's absence, I went to call on Julia, pour 
me distraire. 

" But where is your story of The Cock at Sutton ? " 
the reader inquires. 

I am coming to that by-and-by. 

Julia's spirits appeared much improved since my 
last visit to her. " I see very well by your altered 
look," said I, " that Sir H. Mildmay has been paying 
you a visit." 

" True," answered Julia with a deep sigh, which 
almost resembled a [groan ; " but I see very plainly 
that he is tired of me." 

"My poor forlorn woman," 1 replied, "for God's 
sake, recollect you are a mother ! Whoever forgets 
that is less than human. Think of your poor, dear, 
beautiful children. It is wrong perhaps to intrigue 
under any circumstances, yet somebody who was 
wise, or who passed for wise, has said that there are 
exceptions to every rule. Mr. Napier is rich and 
free. I think that it depends on you to provide for 
your children. Consider, my dear Julia," I continued, 
taking her hand ; and I saw a tear glisten in her eye. 

" When do you expect Mr. Napier ? " I asked. 

" The long-backed odious creature will call here 
to-morrow," answered Julia. 

" I wish something else could be done," said I 
hastily, sympathising in her disgust. " Shall 1 write 
to your uncle, Lord Carysfort ? " 

" Do not mention that unfeeling wretch ! " exclaimed 
Julia. " A legacy has been left me, which I cannot 
help thinking has been unfairly appropriated." 

" Have you applied to his lordship on that subject ? " 
J inquired. 

" I have written to him twice," answered Jvilva, 
" ravd my second letter was answered by his lordship 
in these words, ' The person from whom you expected 
a legacy showed a becoming horror and disgust at 
206 5 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

your vile profligate conduct by withdrawing your 
name from his will.' " 

"Rely on it," said I, "that honourable uncle of 
yours has taken due care of your property. But what 
can be expected from one thus destitute of every 
manly feeling of compassion towards a poor, fallen, 
defenceless relative ! " 

Julia absolutely sobbed aloud. I never saw her 
thus affected ; for she was not given to the melting 
mood. To change the conversation, I asked her 
what had become of another noble relative. 

" He has paid nearly a thousand pounds for me, and 
declares he can do no more," replied Julia. 

" No matter," said I, " Napier is your man." 

" But Napier's vanity makes me sick," retorted 
Julia impatiently. " The possession of my person 
would not satisfy him. He wants me to declare and 
prove that I love him ; and the thing is physically 
impossible." 

I thought of Fred Lamb and was silent. 

" What has become of Amy and Argyle ? " I asked, 
after a pause. 

" Amy," said Julia, " is very proud of Argyle and 
also of her pregnancy, and lives in hopes that her 
unborn babe by the Scottish laws may yet be Duke 
of Argyle." 

" She has bespoken a boy then ? " 

" Of that too she lives in hopes," repeated Julia. 

" And the Duke," inquired I, with something like 
a sickness of the heart," is he as tender and as loving 
as ever ? " 

" I have heard nothing to the contrary," answered 
Julia. 

I was not jealous, but disgusted. I had always 
wished to love my sisters dearly. It was very hard 
on me that they would not let me \ 

" If," said Julia, " I were to consent to Napier's 
wishes, and he did not provide for my children, I 
should go into the Serpentine River the very next 

instant." 

207 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Here is a fuss about trifles," said I. " Why can- 
not we take these things as the Frenchwomen do ? 
Ca luifait tant de plaisir ! pendant que fa me codte 
si peu! That is the way they argue, and very 
philosophically too. Your sin has been bringing all 
these children into the world ; and now, coute quil 
cofite, you must provide for them, to the extent of 
your power/' I concluded here my very moral advice, 
and took my leave, promising to join her in our 
Opera-box on the morrow evening. 

The next morning Mildmay called on me. He re- 
proached me with having deceived and made a fool 
of him ; but all he could say or do could not effect 
any change of my sentiments in his favour. 

He had also professed to love Julia once, and how 
had he requited her ? " Heaven defend me from the 
like humiliation," thought I, " which I should richly 
deserve, were I to encourage this cold-hearted, pro- 
fligate, beautiful Sir Henry." 

As soon as I contrived to get rid of him and had 
dined, I went to join Julia at the Opera House. The 
first man who came into my box was Fred Lamb ; he 
appeared delighted to see me. 

" When did you come to town ? " I asked. 

" This morning," Fred answered, " and I called on 
you ; but you were either out or denied to me." 

" I passed the morning in my little library," 
answered I. 

"You have made me very wretched," whispered 
Fred Lamb, pressing my hand with much passionate 
agitation. He looked remarkably well. 

" Indeed, Fred," said I, " I did not mean it." 

" Remember your promise then," added Fred 
Lamb, " and do pray, dearest Harry, tell me, when 
you will throw away two whole days on me in the 
country." 

" What shall we do there ? ' 

" Get married," interposed Julia. 

" Married ! " exclaimed Fred Lamb. " From my 
heart and soul, I shall pity the man who ever hopes 
208 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

to attach you, Harriette, to himself. You have 
the knack of torturing those who love you, be- 
yond the possibility of endurance ! Why not have 
told me at once that you did not mean to receive 
me?" 

" I meant well," answered I, sighing ; for it never 
gave me any pleasure to be loved by those whose love 
I could not return. 

" Had you been my wife, by heavens, I should have 
murdered you long ago," said Fred Lamb, half 
seriously. 

" Why, yes," I replied, " I think, as yet, you had 
better not venture on me ; but really, Fred, on the 
day I turn fifty I propose being steady, and then, 
perhaps " 

"No," said Fred Lamb, "not a bit of it. You 
would only then, as now, be one day grateful for 
attentions and the next confess that you were sorry, 
advise one not to fret for a woman of fifty; but 
declare you had changed your mind." 

" If this is really my character, and you imagine I 
should act thus for ever towards every man, how can 
you be so very weak as to like me ? " 

Lord Molyneux came into my box at this instant. 
I always made it a point to make violent love to Lord 
Molyneux, for the same reason that 1 used to say soft 
things to Luttrell : because they neither of them 
professed the least love to me. 

" I wish all the young men would dress as you do," 
said I to his lordship. " That dear, little, gentleman- 
like bow, on the little, vielle cour^ three-cornered hat 1 
How quiet and interesting compared to the vile, gold- 
laced, dragoon-looking flat thing Lord Uxbridge carries 
under his arm ! " 

" What you say is most highly flattering," said Lord 
Molyneux, with good-natured composure. 

"And then, white silk stockings always win my 
heart, no matter who wears them. In short, your 
lordship is better dressed, and better adapted altogether 
to set off a woman's opera-box than Brummell, Lord 

I o 209 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Jersey, or any man I know ; and, if I could only have 
ensured to myself the honour of a visit from you every 
night, I should not have put myself to the expense of 
ten pounds for these new red curtains." 

Lord Molyneux said that he was sure I ought to 
give him credit for the gentleness of his disposition 
and the unheard-of patience with which he stood 
there to be quizzed and laughed at ; and yet, added 
Molyneux, " Though this is invariably what happens 
to me, your box altogether has attractions one cannot 
resist." 

" All nonsense," said I. " I am no longer to be put 
off in this manner, I, who am stark staring mad for 
youl" 

" I am off," said Fred Lamb. 

Julia, who greatly admired him, as well as the 
character I had given her of him, entreated him to 
remain. 

" You have not settled your rural excursion with 
Harriette yet," Julia told him. 

" Oh, true ! where is it to be ? " I was obliged to 
ask ; because Fred looked in such a passion with 
me. 

" Would you like Richmond ? " Fred inquired. 

"Oh, no I" I answered. "Sophia and I dined 
there a short time ago, and variety, you know, my 
dear Fred Lamb, is everything, even at fifty years of 
age!" 

" Go to The Cock at Sutton," said Berkely Craven, 
who had joined us. " It is a delightful, pretty, rural 
place for a man to read rhymes, and be romantic in ; 
just fit for you, Fred." 

" Are you ever taken with either a fit of reading, or 
a fit of romance, Berkely ? " 

" Ask my young nephew here, who can tell you 
how I used to sit, and sigh, arid drink brandy and 
water with Mrs. Patten after the play," answered 
Berkely. 

" So much for your romance ! " said I, 

" And, as to reading," continued Berkely, " I will 
210 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

be bound to say, that, among men who have received 
no regular education, not one has read more plays and 
farces than I have ; and I always read the newspaper 
from beginning to end, except the debates." 

The Due de Berri next came in ; and we all stood 
up till he was seated, as bound by etiquette ; and 
then followed my young, new acquaintance, the Duke 
of Leinster, who stood up by himself, like a noun 
substantive, for want of a chair. 

Now the said Duke of Leinster being a very stingy, 
stupid blockhead, whom nobody knows, I will describe 
him. His person was pretty good ; strait, stout, and 
middle-sized, with a good, fair, Irish allowance of leg. 
It was a good leg, however, mais en gros; and I never 
saw anything more decided in the shape of curls than 
those which adorned and distinguished Leinster 's crop 
from all such heads of hair as are in the habit of resist- 
ing the curling tongs, when they do not happen to be 
red hot : c'etait, en/in, une belle tSte. 

I do not see how a man could be well handsomer, 
without a mind. His Grace was at that time in the 
constant habit of assenting to whatever anybody said, 
good or bad. He was all smiles and sweet good- 
humour. He would, in fact, have made an excellent 
husband for Sophia ; yet, strange to say, he felt not 
the slightest inclination towards her ; but Leinster is 
not the first fool I have met with who required wit 
and talent in a mistress. 

" How did your Grace's party on the river go oft 
this morning ? " I asked. 

" Oh, it was charming," answered the duke ; with 
more of the brogue than was necessary, for a lad who 
had been bred at Eton. " But, upon my honour," 
added Leinster, " the English are too stiff and abomi- 
nable, for just as I had stripped and began to row 
they hallooed out, Wait for His Grace ! where's His 
Grace ? where's the Duke of Leinster ? ' "as if His 
Grace, who happens to be a mere wild Irish boy 
of nineteen, was not allowed to amuse himself in 
the same way that other lads do. " I question if 

211 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

they did not expect to see me in a bag-wig," added 
Leinster. 

Lord Molyneux waited to catch my eye and kiss 
his hand as he made his exit. 

" You are driving away the vielle cour by expressing 
those vulgar ideas." 

" I cannot help it," replied Leinster. " God Almighty 
has not cut me out for a fine gentleman." 

" One word," said Fred Lamb, " and I am off, to 
make room for better men." 

" I really will," I interrupted him in a whisper, not 
knowing how else to get rid of him, " I really will 
drive down to The Cock at Sutton to-morrow morning 
at about twelve, and inquire for you." 

Fred Lamb's eyes brightened. " Swear it upon 
your honour and soul," said he, seizing my hand. 

66 1 do swear," I rejoined. 

He pressed his lips on the hand he held, in fervent 
gratitude, as he took his leave. 

"I knew I should find my noble cousin the 
big duke here," said the young handsome Harry 
De Roos, peeping his Narcissus-like head into my 
box. 

" Come in, you pretty Harry," said I. 

"Oh! I 'am very melancholy," observed De Roos, 
blushing, as he took his seat. 

66 Upon my honour," said Leinster, " Henry is fret- 
ting for nothing at all. Wait now, while I tell you 
all about it." 

" Indeed, and we are waiting," I answered. 

" Why," Leinster went on, " his mother, my Lady 
De Roos, is going to send him down to a private 
tutor to-morrow, and I have frightened him with my 
description of the Smiths, that's all." 

" Who are the Smiths ? " I asked. 

" Mr. Smith is the name of the big duke's tutor, 
whom he has just left," answered De Roos, "after 
enduring such wretchedness, for more than two years, 
as would have about finished me, I am sure." 

"Nothing at all like wretchedness, upon my 
212 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

honour," retorted Leinster. "It is all Harry's 
spoiled way." 

" Tell us, you big duke, how you used to pass your 
valuable time at this said bugbear of a tutor, Mr. 
Smith's," said I. 

" Listen while I tell you then," replied Leinster. 
" Myself and two other lads were under his care. 
We rose at six and cleaned our own boots and 
shoes." 

De Roos looked on his peculiarly delicate white 
hand and fingers and sighed heavily. 

"And then," proceeded Leinster, "we took our 
breakfast, which consisted of thick slices of bread 
with a little salt butter. After that we had three 
large books placed before us, in which we were 
desired to read for five hours, taking down notes of 
whatever struck us most forcibly. At dinner, which 
consisted one day of a roast joint, the next of the 
same, hashed ; the third, ditto, minced ; our society 
was enlivened by the three Miss Smiths ! " 

" What sort of animals were they ? " inquired Julia, 
laughing. 

" The eldest, Miss Jemima, wore a sort of a false 
rump, sticking out so," and Leinster put himself into 
a most ludicrous attitude. 

To my question, whether she was pretty, he 
answered, that her face was a little too much like 
a dead horse for a perfect beauty. 

" Gorgons, all three of them, and the youngest 
turned of thirty," said De Roos, with a heavy 
groan. 

" But then," interrupted Julia, " Mr. De Roos is 
not going to live with Mr. Smith." 

" True," continued De Roos, " and, surely, there 
cannot be another such a vile place in the world take 
it all together, cleaning boots, and the Miss Smiths, 
and all?" 

" No," I answered, " you must hope the best, and 
recollect that merely being minus the Miss Smiths is 
something." 

213 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" Thank God, I have done with private tutors ! " 
said Leinster. 

" How do you like Oxford ? " asked Julia. 

"Delighted with it," replied the Duke. "Apropos 
of Christ Church. Do you know that Brummell is 
cut amongst us, and who do you think sets the 
fashions there now ? " 

" Yourself, perhaps ? " 

" No, nothing is asked, but whether Harriette 
Wilson approves of this or that ? Harriette likes 
white waistcoats Harriette commends silk stockings, 
&c. 1 asked my friend, the young Marquis of 
Worcester, why he did not curl his straight locks. 
4 Harriette considers straight hair most gentleman- 
like; 

" On my asking him if he knew Harriette, the 
marquis owned that he had never seen her, adding, 
* I ran up three times to the Opera, on purpose ; 
but she did not make her appearance. Will you 
present me to her ? I shall be much indebted to 
you.' 

" * Not I, indeed, upon my honour,' was my answer, 
and I am the only young man at Oxford acquainted 
with you." 

Young Lambton, the little curly-headed Opposi- 
tion man, second son of Lady Ann Wyndham, now 
interrupted us. The Due de Berri, who had been 
all attention to Julia, arose to depart, and we all 
stood up to bow him out, witli the selfsame cere- 
mony with which we bowed him in. As to Berkely 
Craven he had found his way out unobserved by us 
long before. 

Lambton had been, for the last three weeks, trying 
to muster courage to express his passion, and Leinster, 
observing his anxiety to say soft things in my ear, 
took his hat to depart, first declaring that he should 
hold himself in readiness in the round room to see me 
safe to my carriage. Harry De Roos, as he followed 
his cousin, begged us to pity him, and convey his 
tender regards to Sophia. 
214 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Next came Napier, who, with his usual ill-breeding, 
began to whisper in Julia's ear. However, I would 
have put up with more than that to have been of use 
to her. 

Lord Kinnaird paid me a sort of flying visit ; but, 
seeing Napier so deeply engaged on one side and 
Lambton so tender on the other, he had the impudence 
to whisper in my ear, " Mademoiselle Harriet te, il ne 
f but pas le corrompre" and then left us. 

His lordship was overheard by Lambton, who 
began to fidget about and redden, arid appear very 
uneasy. 

"What is the matter, Mr. Lambton?" asked 
Julia. 

" I am not much of a Frenchman," muttered 
Lambton ; " but I perfectly understood what Lord 
Kinnaird said, and I think it was extremely im- 
pertinent." 

Lambton's particular friend, the Honourable 
Thomas Dundas, now joined us. 1 immediately 
related this mighty affair to him. 

Lambton declared that, whatever his appearance 
might be, he had no idea of being treated like a child 
by any man, seeing that he was of age. 

" Yes," interrupted I, " of age to be wiser than to 
take offence where, very evidently, no offence was 
meant. Lord Kinnaird only knows you by sight." 

"The less reason for his taking such a liberty,'' 
answered the little man, with much impatient 
dignity. 

While Dundas was endeavouring to calm his irri- 
tated friend, the curtain dropped, and the Duke of 
Leinster hurried upstairs to be in time to conduct 
me into the round room. Dundas and Lambton 
followed us, the latter still grumbling and very 
sulky. 

Lord Kinnaird passed us again, and nodded good- 
naturedly as he chaperoned some ladies to their car- 
riage. Lambton spoke loudly at him as he passed, 
saying he did not consider himself a subject for ridi- 

215 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

cule, or in danger of being corrupted, or young 
enough to endure the accusation. 

Lord Kinnaird heard nothing as applied to himself, 
never having dreamed of such a thing as insulting or 
picking a quarrel with young Lambton. This both 
I and Mr. Duridas took pains to impress on his mind ; 
but the peevish, fretful creature refused to hear 
reason. 

Again his lordship passed us, and again Lambton 
growled at him, with his eyes fixed on his own well- 
blacked shoes. 

It was now rny turn to lose my patience. 

" Good heavens !" I exclaimed, "is this what you 
Opposition gentlemen call spirit, growling at a man 
between your teeth for an imagined insult ? Why 
growl or be sulky if nobody has offered you any 
insult ? And if they have, why do you not address 
them with firm, manly civility, to request an explana- 
tion or apology ? " 

Having thus brought my little spitfire gentleman 
to a point, he soon contrived to pocket his supposed 
wrongs, since challenging had been hinted at by me 
as his alternative, and went home without touching 
on the subject to Lord Kinnaird. 

I do not exactly know what these young Lambtons 
are good for except sulkiness. I remember hearing 
the officers of the old 10th Dragoons, to which regi- 
ment the eldest Lambton had formerly belonged, 
declare that he had contrived so to prejudice the 
whole regiment against him, that there was no rest 
for himself or his brother officers till he left it. I do 
not mean absolutely to assert by this that there really 
is no good about either of the Lambtons, being in the 
first place an incompetent judge of their merits, from 
having only a slight acquaintance with the youngest, 
and, in the second, it being my intention to draw my 
characters with truth and nature, I should be very 
sorry to caricature them. I will tell you why but 
this is a secret, I do not like them well enough to 
tell you a single untruth, to their prejudice, and 
216 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

thereby to shake your faith in such facts as else would 
tell against them. In common justice to my own 
heart I must add that I yet like even my enemies, 
and those who have used me worst, too well to desire 
that you should believe them worse than they really 
are. 



217 



CHAPTER XII 

WHAT I have stated and mean to state hereafter I 
will abide by and swear to ; and let them deny it if 
they can. I allude to all such facts as might be likely 
to prejudice my reader against any individual. As 
to mere harmless conversations, I do not profess more 
than general accuracy ; I often add a yes, a nod, or a 
no, or I neglect my dates and relate anecdotes to- 
gether which happened at different periods ; but 
happen they did ; and no conversation is described 
herein which did not take place within my own know- 
ledge, and, for the most part, in my own hearing. 

In regard to the Lambtons, I have related all 
I ever heard or knew of them, good or bad ; and, 
judging of the youngest, from my slight observation, 
never having conversed with him for an hour together 
in my life, I should pronounce him well read ; rather 
sensible ; not one bit witty ; touchy, sulky, proud, 
and overbearing : but, having yet the fear of God 
always before him, he prefers growling to duelling, 
as in duty bound. So much I guess ; yet, being 
uncertain as to what relates to his religious principles 
I beg that all his friends will consider him as bold as 
a lion, until he shall himself have proved to them the 
contrary. 

To proceed, I refused to permit the Duke of Leinster 
to accompany me home, although he declared himself 
ready to mount the box, or to stand behind with my 
dapper little footman ! I was out of sorts and out 
of spirits at the idea of having promised to meet 
Frederick Lamb at The Cock at Sutton on the follow- 
218 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

ing morning. Oh, this tiresome Fred Lamb ! I 
wonder if any woman alive was ever in love with him, 
with the exception of the once celebrated Charlotte 
Windham : who would have taken him into keeping, 
at least so I have heard, and found him in washing, 
tea, sugar, and raw eggs to the end of his natural 
life, had he not cut her dead, pour mes propres beaux 
yeux. Handsome, clever, young, a great plenipo, 
and the recorded son of the Earl of Melbourne ! 
What would ladies be at ? " On ne connait pas tou- 
jours son pere, cest un malheur; on est sur, cependant, 
den avoir eu un y cela console ! " as says Pigault Le 
Brun. 

Fred Lamb certainly had a father and, in my con- 
science, I believe him to have been a man of high 
rank, no matter whether he was a lord, a duke, or a 
prince, and, what is more, his mother was a married 
woman : and yet, notwithstanding these multifarious 
advantages of both, 1 looked forward with disgust to 
the idea of meeting him at The Cock at Sutton. 
How could I be so deficient in good taste ? 

I found two letters on my dressing-table ; the first 
I took up was in my young nephew's well-known 
round text. I knew that he would not write, unless 
he wanted money or clothes, whips or cricket-bats, 
and, as I happened to be very poor, I did not venture 
to break the seal, till I had examined the other letter 
in search of consolation. It was addressed in an 
unknown, and I fancied, disguised hand. 1 hastily 
broke open the plain wafer seal, and found a two 
hundred pound bank-note, merely enclosed in a 
blank cover. " Charming correspondent,'' said I, 
" how eloquent is thy silence ! " 

" It is very clear," continued I to myself, " that 
there is a providence, which is kind enough to take 
particular care of me ; for I have only to spend my 
last shilling to ensure to myself a full purse, which 
comes to me nobody knows how." I was at loss to 
guess at the munificent being who could find pleasure 
in thus secretly disposing of so large a sum without 

219 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

even the chance of being thanked for it. " It must 
be Lord Ponsonby," thought I, and, strange to say, 
the idea gave me pain instead of pleasure. I would 
rather have been indebted to any man's goodness 
than his. It was a relief to my mind to believe him 
heartless and unworthy of my affection. 

To change the current of my thoughts I opened 
my young nephew's letter, which also contained an 
enclosure, in the shape of a little dirty note directed 
to William Halliday, my footman. 

The letter to me was as follows : 

"M\ r DEAR AUNT, I hope you are well, as this 
leaves me at present. Excuse this bad writing as I 
am so very bad, and my head aches fit to split, but I 
am ordered this very moment, before the post goes 
out, to acquaint you with my accident, as Monsieur 
Codroie says, perhaps, you may wish me to come to 
town, to have the rest of my teeth put to rights, the 
fact is then, to be short, dear Aunt, I was running 
just now, arid I hit my face against another boy's 
head, arid broke out my two front teeth, 

" Your affectionate Niece, 

" GEORGE WOODCOCK. 

"P.S. Pray deliver the enclosed to William, in 
answer to a long stupid sermon he has written to me 
about five shillings he says I borrowed of him." 

George's enclosure was merely poor William's 
laboured epistle turned inside out, with these eloquent 
words written near the seal, 

" Five and four makes nine, 
Mind your business, and I'll mind mine." 

" Five la poesie! " said I, throwing the letter aside, 
and ringing for myfenmie de chambrc, whom I desired 
to prepare for my journey to The Cock at Sutton on 
the following morning. 

I did not awake till twelve o'clock, when I rang 
my bell. 
220 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETT E WILSON 

" Madame, la voiture est a la porte" said my French 
maid, as she entered my bedroom. 

" I cannot help it ; so bring me a cup of chocolate, 
pour me donner du courage" I replied. 

Before I had finished it, the Duke of Leinster was 
announced, and I went down to him in my dressing- 
gown and slippers. 

" Upon my honour," said His Grace, " I am very 
glad you did not keep your appointment with Fred 
Lamb. I have brought little George some strings to 
mend his fiddle with and, if you will give it me, I will 
string it for him." 

I rang for the fiddle, and Leinster set to work in 
great glee. 

" How did you get home last night ? " I asked. 

" Oh," said Leinster, " my brother Fitzgerald has 
found out such a woman ! I Ipon my honour I never 
laughed so much in all my life. He told me she was 
Venus herself, just emerged from the froth of the sea ! 
I wanted to go home and think of you ; but Fitzgerald 
dragged me by force to No. 2 Upper Norton-street. 
We were shown into a parlour by an old, dirty duenna, 
who assured us her mistress was engaged, and she 
regretted it of all things. 

" * Good gracious ! ' said I, ' Fitz, you are not going 
to wait ? ' 

" ' Yes,' said my brother, mysteriously ; ' she is in 
keeping, and has been these five years. I shall ruin 
her if 1 am found here, so pray be quiet. The gentle- 
man who keeps her is a captain of horse-marines.' 

" * For God's sake, let me be off,' said I, making the 
best of my way to the door. * I can stand a lick or 
two as well as most lads of my age and country; but, 
being in love elsewhere, and not quite come to my 
strength, I do not feel much inclined to encounter 
this horse-marine to-night.' However, Fitzgerald 
overruled all my objections and kept me there in 
perfect misery for more than half an hour. At last, 
we heard the creaking of heavy boots descending the 
stairs. I scarcely ventured to breathe, expecting 

221 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

every minute to be called to account by the horse 
marine, for being found concealed on his premises a 
past two in the morning. 

" Upon my honour, I did not half like it ! and onlj 
just fancy my horror when, instead of going out at the 
street door as we both expected, this much-dreaded 
horse-marine strutted into the parlour in search of his 
hat ! He did not look much like a horse-marine, but 
reminded me more of a city hosier. Nevertheless, I 
made myself as small as possible, and strove to hide 
behind the scanty, red window-curtain. As to Fitz- 
gerald, believing that all was lost, he became bold 
from desperation and, folding his arms across his 
breast, he fixed his eyes steadily on his rival. The 
horse-marine, who had entered with the sort of strut 
which became a eommander-in-chief of No. 2 Upper 
Norton Street, started back, instead of encountering 
my brother's fixed regard, and began to stammer out 
an apology. He had just taken the liberty of seeing 
the lady home safe from the Opera ; he begged pardon 
if it had been wrong, he was sure no harm nor dis- 
respect was meant, &c. 

" By this time my brother, who, I assure you, is by 
no means such a fool as I am, saw exactly how the 
case stood, and that the horse-marine was but the 
creature of his fair mistress's imagination, a sort of 
circular bug-bear by which she contrived to frighten 
all her lovers, while she flattered their vanity with the 
idea that her acquaintance was an unusual bonne 
fortune^ which their peculiar merits alone had obtained 
for them. This conviction being impressed on my 
brother's mind, he interrupted his rival in the midst of 
his humble apologies by playing himself, for that 
night only, the character of the terrific horse-marine ! 
And, waving his hand with much pomp towards the 
door, as he fixed his back against the fireplace, said, 
* No offence, my good fellow, no offence 1 only, there 
is the door you know, and, unless you prefer making 
your exit by the window, never let me see your 
rascally, ugly face in this house again ! ' 
222 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Upon my honour," continued Leinster, " I could 
not stand it any longer, and, before the poor trem- 
bling wretch got to the street door, we both broke out 
into a roar of laughter, which was interrupted by the 
entrance of the frail fair one herself, whom my brother 
immediately accosted thus : 

" ' Fair lady, since I have been allowed to make so 
very valuable an acquaintance as that of your horse- 
marine, my conscience will not permit me to interfere 
with his happiness : ' and we hastened out of the 
house before the lady could recover from her confusion 
and surprise." 

"Now, duke," said I, "there's the door," placing 
myself before the fire, and pointing to it in humble 
imitation of Fitzgerald. 

Leinster took this gentle, delicate hint, with much 
good-nature, and left me at about two o'clock. I felt 
really ashamed of myself and, hurrying on my travel- 
ling dress, was soon with my maid, on our road to The 
Cock at Sutton. Fred Lamb was waiting at the door, 
and his joy, on perceiving my carriage, overcame all 
his late vexation. 

" I shall be nicely quizzed and laughed at," said 
Fred Lamb. " Harry Wyndham and Lord Egremont 
alighted here this morning, on their road to his lord- 
ship's house at Brighton. They asked me so many 
questions as to where I was going, that I was obliged 
to confess I was waiting for somebody to meet me. 
They remained with me an hour. ' Why you will 
not wait any longer, surely,' said Harry ! * Who can 
the cruel fair one be ? ' It was too bad of you." 

" Well, do not scold," I answered, " for I could not 
help it" 

Fred Lamb had a book in his pocket, and he read 
to me in the garden while our dinner was preparing. 
His remarks on the fine poem he read were very 
sensible ; but his manner of reading, like that of his 
brother William, I dislike : it might rather be called 
singing ; and yet some say it is proper, and all admit 
it to be the fashion to read so. 

223 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

We had an excellent dinner and, as long as I saw 
daylight, I kept in pretty good spirits ; but when 
the waiter brought us candles, and we seemed as 
though settled for the night at The Cock at Sutton, 
my heart completely failed me. I tried hard to 
reason myself out of this repugnance. I argued with 
myself that, since I had already been under Frederick's 
protection, one night more or less could not make 
much difference, that to leave him now were to 
treat him really ill and make, perhaps, a bitter enemy 
of a man well disposed towards me : but all would 
not do. " I cannot help it," said I to myself, in a 
sort of frenzy, " I would rather die than pass another 
whole night with Fred Lamb, now the thing is gone 
by and I have been so attached to another." My case 
was desperate ; for I almost equally dreaded telling 
Lamb I would not stay with him. 

" Fred Lamb," said I, at last, absolutely pale 
with terror," 1 really must return to town to night. 
Do not ask me why, for you may be sure, if I 
wished to stay, 1 should not go, and, if I do not, 
my society cannot be worth having, to a man of 
taste, who can easily make himself beloved and 
desired by more likeable objects than I am. You 
will, I know, have a right to reproach me with 
caprice, because my good heart made me wish to 
avoid the appearance of unkindness towards an old 
friend ; mais vous savez bien que les passions ne se 
commandcnt pas." 

Fred Lamb on this occasion behaved very well and 
very gentlemanlike, much as his pride and feelings 
were hurt. He ordered out my carriage and accom- 
panied me home with friendly politeness, nor did he 
make a single unpleasant observation on my refusal 
to remain there. 

The favourite topic on my arrival in town was the 
Marquis of Anglesea's elopement with the wife of 
Sir Henry Wellesley. His Grace of Argyle was soon 
expected to console Lady Anglesea by the offer of his 
hand and heart, in case that good lady could contrive, 
224 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

by hook or by crook, by English law, or by Scotch 
law, to obtain her liberty. 

Amy Madden, alias Sydenham, alias Argyle, had 
long been led to believe, according to her own account, 
that she was to become the legitimate wife of the 
Duke of Argyle. At last, when Amy was very near 
her confinement, Argyle, fearful least the sad truth 
might fall heavier on her tender heart from a third 
person than from his own lips, one fine morning, after 
breakfast, having no doubt previously fortified himself 
with a bumper of brandy, for Amy was a practical 
Tartar, opened to her with the utmost delicacy he was 
master of, the appalling fact that he was about to 
marry Lady Anglesea. 

Amy had a hysterical fit, or was afflicted with sore 
eyes, I forget which ; but 1 know that she was very 
bad and vented her rage in all the refined expressions 
usual on these most celebrated occasions. It will 
scarcely be expected that I should feel much com- 
miseration for her. When I state these facts it must 
be understood that Amy said so; but then, will 
methodistical Luttrell add, with his eyes turned up 
towards the sky, or the ceiling, as the chance may 
be if all the lies that have been uttered since the 
flood were put into a scale with Amy's, they would 
weigh as a hair in the balance ; so that, perhaps, the 
less I say on this matter the better. 

At last, when a whole month had elapsed beyond 
the period Amy had named for the expected event, 
Argyle could keep on the mask no longer ; and, having 
asked her one evening how she felt, and received for 
answer that she was perfectly well and free from pain, 
he said, in a passion, " Why, Amy, you are surely a 
Johanna Southcott, and never mean to be confined at 
all." This was certainly very cruel, though no less 
certainly circumstances did rather appear to justify 
such a suspicion 1 

At last, oh, blessed news for Argyle 1 Amy 
declared she felt a slight pain ; but whether it pro- 
ceeded from the sweet pledge of love she carried in her 

I p 225 



MEMOIRS OF HARR1ETTE WILSON 

bosom or from what else was time to determine : and 
my kind readers will probably recollect that, in a like 
protracted case, Old Time determined against the late 
Marchioness of Buckingham, without the least respect 
to all the splendid paraphernalia which had been pro- 
fusely got up for the anticipated joyful occasion. 
Amy, however, not being quite so stricken in years, 
Argyle bustled about in the joyful hopes of a speedy 
deliverance, and said, " No harm in sending to Dr. 
Merriman, and getting the knocker tied up, and a little 
straw laid before the door ? " As to the nurse, she 
had been in the house for the last month ! 

By the time the knocker was tied up, the straw laid 
down, and Dr. Merriman shown upstairs into her 
room, Amy declared herself quite well again, and so 
she continued for another week. 

" Good Lord deliver us ! " exclaimed Argyle. 

" Amen ! " responded the old nurse : for who would 
differ from a duke, however pleasant it might be to 
enjoy present pay and good quarters for doing nothing ! 

I cannot help pitying anything in labour, even a 
mountain ! At length, Amy herself really experienced 
the so often anticipated pains. She now declared that 
she could not stand it, and would not, that was more ! 

" Give me a pair of scissors ! " said she in a fury to 
the doctor, "and I will cut my own throat directly." 

Dr. Merriman answered with perfect sangfroid. 

Apropos ! I do remember this said Dr. Merriman 
of Curzon-street, an apothecary, and often has he 
stood behind his uncle's counter to serve me when I 
was a child and fond of sweets, with a pennyworth of 
Spanish liquorice. His father was a respectable 
accoucheur and had the honour to bring all my 
respectable family into this respectable world, one by 
one, except my youngest sister Julia ; and he would 
have done as much by her, but that he happened to 
die one day, and the present Dr. Merriman, his nephew, 
formerly well known by the appellation of Sam 
Merriman, officiated, faute de mieux, my dear mother 
being too shy to endure the idea of a perfect stranger. 
226 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

As soon as he got possession of his dead uncle's 
carriage he took the small liberty of cutting the shop, 
Spanish liquorice and all, and ventured to change the 
name of Sam for the more dignified one of Doctor, 
but it would not pass current everywhere. Many 
refused to pay a fee, and voted him ignorantus, 
ignoranta, ignorantum ! and so Sam, a force de battre 
le fer, contrived to take out a degree, and became 
Dr. Merriman indeed, at any lady's service. 

"My dear Lady," said the doctor to Amy, in 
answer to her request for a pair of scissors to cut her 
own throat, " my dear lady, I should be happy to 
oblige you, if you could first insure my own neck " : 
and then, turning to the nurse as he warmed his 
hands by the fire, " I always let them halloa, and 
make just as much noise as they like ; but, for myself, 
as it will be necessary for me to pass the night here, 
I shall thank you to give me some warm blankets 
on that sofa ; with a cup of tea and a bottle of 
wine." 

In due season, the gentle Amy was delivered of a 
fine boy, by my old friend Sam Merriman, and was 
duly announced to be as well as could be expected. 
For another fortnight, Amy contrived to keep Argyle 
in London, as might be supposed to his no small 
annoyance, just on the eve of his approaching nuptials 
with Lady Anglesea. The time however did arrive 
when His Grace took his departure northward, to the 
destruction of all the airy visions which had long 
flitted before the anxious eyes of Amy, who had 
adorned them with ducal coronets and almost every 
other attribute of a resolutely, ambitious and selfish 
mind. She declared that her death must be perfectly 
an event of course ; yet she got up in a month, as 
blooming and well as she had ever been in her life. 
It is true she worked herself up into a dreadful frenzy 
of passion, when anybody told her that the Duchess 
of Argyle was, or would soon be, in the way which 
all ladies who love their lords wish to be in ; but she 
was easily consoled by adding a few years to Her 

227 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Grace's age, or detracting from the duchess's charms, 
personal or mental. 

Enough of Amy. I hate to dwell long on any 
subject, unless indeed it were the merits of these my 
most interesting and valuable memoirs! which I 
assure you might have been better still but that 
Stockdale won't let me or any one else study and 
correct them. " The merits of such a light work as 
this," stupidly says he, " is, that it is written without 
study, and naturally, and just as you converse. There 
are learned books enough, and more than people are 
aware of, all written with such correct precision, as to 
defy the Edinburgh Reviewers themselves 1 and yet 
half of them do not take the trouble, although months 
have been spent in poring over heavy volumes, to secure 
the accuracy of a single date 1 This research is highly 
creditable in its way ; but, since the world, in their 
rage for variety, require a little of everything, write 
you in your own natural language, and of life, manners, 
and men as they strike you, and, take my word for it, 
your own genuine spirit will please and the book will 
sell." So here am I, seated on an easy.chair at No. Ill, 
in the Rue de Faubourg St. Honor a Paris, writing, 
not for the benefit of my readers, but for my own 
amusement and profit to boot, and in the full expecta- 
tion that my work is to pass the twentieth edition ! 
Apropos, I have just got a letter from Stockdale, 
who tells me he has hopes, even beyond what he at 
first anticipated, as to the success of my Memoirs : 
but then he consents to observe my directions as to 
the pretty pictures; which he says shall certainly 
adorn the work before it gets to the conclusion. 

Love me, love my dog ! 

" Apropos to what ? " says the reader. 

I really don't know. I have had my head leaning 
on my finger, which is my usual attitude, as you see 
me in the portrait, for the last three minutes, after I 
had finished the word edition, considering what was to 
be my next subject. 

I yesterday dined with a lady, who assured me that 
228 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

it often cost her an hour to begin a letter; but, 
having once decided on the first five or six words, she 
could scribble on till doomsday. 

" I'll put anything down," said I to myself, "just 
now, if only to try my fortune in that way," and, 
looking towards my window, from which I have a full 
view of everybody who passes in the Faubourg St. 
Honor, I saw a thin andcn regime-looking, powdered 
Frenchman, in a threadbare coat and a pair of yellow 
old silk stockings, which showed to much disadvantage 
what, 1 suppose, he calls les beaux restes of his calves. 

" It is rakish and interesting," says Lord Foley, " to 
have a thin leg ; but you must never admit that you 
were not born with a large calf, while you declare 
that your high breeding has left you only, les beaux 
restes" 

However, to proceed with my Frenchman in the 
threadbare coat, who just now stopped near my 
window to take off his hat to an opulent-looking man 
with a large, black dog. 

" What sort of a man is an opulent-looking man ? " 
perhaps the reader may inquisitively ask, and particu- 
larly if he should happen to belong to that fraternity 
vulgarly called blacklegs. 

Why gentlemen, if you will take off your dreadful 
Thur tell- looking, white great-coats, and sit down 
quietly, and not frighten one, I will tell you. 

I generally guess to be opulent, a man who, being 
vulgar, and with the air and manners of low birth, 
appears not at all proud of a new coat, which he 
wears not well brushed, and a chain of value, which 
is not dragged too forward ; and generally appears 
discontented with whatever poor men are most apt 
to admire. He likewise makes a particular sort of 
bow; putting on his hat always less ceremoniously 
than he had taken it off to salute you, as though, on 
second thoughts, it had scarcely been worth his while. 
All these, my favourite marks, had the man whom 
the thin old beau just now saluted with such profound 
respect 

229 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

The supposed opulent man apparently, to the great 
surprise and delight of the poor one, made a full stop, 
and addressed him. While they were conversing, 
the large, black, dirty dog, jumped on his hind legs, 
and began playing with the thin old beau, covering 
him with mud. Instead of driving the nasty animal 
away in anger as I fully expected, he caressed and 
patted him, as though quite enchanted. The opulent 
man, whose frightful dog I should imagine had never 
before been tolerated, appeared all gratitude arid 
respect for him who saw his qualities with the same 
partial eyes that he did himself. 

" Love me, love my dog," said I to myself, and, 
trusting to providence for what was to follow, I put 
the words down < in my manuscript. It is a very 
natural feeling, certainly, yet many carry it much too 
far. I have known men, and women too, who could 
love nothing for the life of them, however amiable, 
with whom everybody was not charmed ! Some 
men quarrel with those who will riot admire their 
mistress ; others love her no longer than she happens 
to continue the fashion ; if, indeed, one may dignify 
such selfish feelings of admiration as originate only in 
vanity by the appellation of love ! Still it is per- 
fectly natural to desire that our friends and those we 
respect should sanction our affections by partaking of 
our admiration. 

"It is sweet to do a great many things," Lord 
Byron said, and he might have added, how very 
sweet and pure is the delight we all experience at 
the genuine spontaneous praise bestowed on the 
object of our choice. 

Lord Ponsonby was certainly one of the most 
reserved and shy men in England, and, being a 
married man, was naturally, for reasons, desirous 
of concealing his affections when his wife was not their 
object. One day, during the time we were living 
together, I walked into the Green Park with my 
young brother George. We met Lord Ponsonby in a 
barouche, acccompanied by his sister, Lady Howick. 
230 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" What two merry, lovely faces are those," said 
her kind ladyship to her brother, " how closely they 
resemble each other ! What a delightful girl ! The 
boy of course must be her brother." 

Ponsonby always described this as one of the very 
happiest moments of his life, nor could all his dread 
of notoriety, his constitutional reserve, and his sense 
of what was due both to his wife and his sister, pre- 
vent his acknowledging, in answer to Lady Howick's 
question, why he blushed so deeply, that we had 
loved each other for more than a year. 

" Oh, for shame, John ! " said his good-natured 
sister, at least, so Lord Ponsonby told me, " but 
then to be sure, this very nice girl does resemble Lady 
Ponsonby extremely." 

" Do you think that fine boy, her brother, would 
like to go to sea ? " 

Ponsonby said he would inquire. 

k< I have taken such a fancy to your Harriette," 
continued Lady Howick, " that I wish I could be of 
service to her. I know I can make Lord Howick 
send her brother out as midshipman." 

It was very, very kind ! 

My little brother wished to go out, and I was ready 
to do my best to fit him out. Lord Ponsonby was 
very persevering about it for more than a month ; but 
my poor mother wanted courage to part with so young 
and certainly so fine a boy . . . 



231 



CHAPTER XIII 

WHAT do you think of Elliston the actor ? I will 
tell you my opinion. He is one of the most mer- 
cenary, selfish creatures I ever met with. I once 
thought better of him ; that was at the very beginning 
of our acquaintance. I had absolutely been in love 
with the man ever since I accompanied my mother 
to witness his performance in the comedy of The 
Honeymoon. Elliston, in the character of the duke, 
appeared so very manly, so very gentlemanlike, so 
everything which a man ought to be to win a fair 
lady's heart, that I did not recover] myself for more 
than a fortnight. 

One day, little Livius, of some Dragoon regiment 
which I have forgotten, having only a sort of bowing, 
nodding acquaintance with him, met me in Great 
Portland- street. He touched his hat and begged 
pardon for running after me ; but knowing my, talent, 
he was anxious to obtain my opinion of a little farce 
he was about to bring out at Drury-lane Theatre, 
under the title of Maid and Wife. 

" Will you appoint a time to call on me, and read 
your piece ? " said I. 

"Yes, provided you promise to give me your 
frank and most candid opinion of it, whether good 
or bad." 

I promised to do this on my word, and nine o'clock 
on the next evening was fixed for his reading the 
farce to me. 

Livius was punctual ; he read his little piece with 
spirit, and played and sung the songs. They were 
232 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

borrowed from the French, as was the farce, but 
Livius had adapted it with some taste to the English 
stage. It was un assez joli petit rien, and I doubted 
not would have its run for a fortnight at least. I 
expressed my approbation, at which Livius did me the 
honour to appear very proud. 

" Elliston himself is kind enough to play one of my 
characters, and the others he has given to his very 
best performers." 

" What a charming actor is Elliston," I remarked. 

" Would you like to be acquainted with him ? " 
said Livius. 

" Of all things in the world," I replied. " The 
impression he made on me when I was only thirteen 
years of age, I have not forgotten yet." 

" If then," added Livius, " you will allow me to 
make up your party for the play to-morrow, I have a 
pjivate box at your service, and I will invite the 
Honourable George Lamb to join us. Elliston plays 
in Wild Oats, but he will come to us between the 
acts, or after the play, I have no doubt. At any rate 
with your permission, we will all sup together at my 
hotel in Dover Street. I have very good rooms there 
and three pianofortes, on either of which I shall be 
delighted to hear you play.'" 

I assured him that I would hold myself in readi- 
ness at any hour he would appoint to call for me. 

" Will you be offended if I venture to introduce a 
young lady to you ? " Livius asked. 

" Not at all, provided you permit me to cut her 
dead, in case her society should not be to my taste." 

" Certainly," said Livius ; and after begging me to 
expect him in his own carriage, at seven on the 
following evening, he left me. 

Livius's little farce of Maid and Wife was advertised 
for the appr'oaching Monday. On that day, Livius 
and I and a pretty, weak, childish young lady found 
our way to a private box at Drury Lane Theatre, just 
at the close of the first of Wild Oats. We were soon 
joined by my own faithful Frederick's brother, the 

233 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

honourable George Lamb, to whom I was presented 
by Livius. I immediately began to discuss the merits 
and demerits of Frederick with my usual and abrupt 
frankness. 

" Can anything be more ridiculous," I exclaimed, 
" than the rage which is caused alone by your not 
returning a man's passion ! Why blame one for what 
really cannot be helped ? " 

" Very fine talking," retorted George Lamb, " but, 
in fact, love is the most arbitrary passion we are sus- 
ceptible of. If you torture a man he must naturally 
hate you." 

" Do you believe in God ? " I asked. 

"jEt vous, Madame ? " said George Lamb. 

" I do indeed," I replied, " believe in his goodness, 
but not in his vengeance. I dread and abhor the idea 
of offending him because I believe he would forgive 
all my faults." 

George Lamb looked incredulous. 

" If I do really believe in a God, and a hereafter, 
would you have me affect to be a disbeliever ? 
Because there is an ironical smile on your counten- 
ance." 

"Not at all," replied George Lamb, with honest 
truth, or the resemblance of it at least : " not at all ; 
those who do believe in God are mean and contemp- 
tible, when they feel ashamed of confessing their 
faith." 

Take him all in all I rather like George Lamb, not- 
withstanding they say he does eat too much dinner, 
which occasions him to drink too much wine in order 
to wash too much dinner down. This does not how- 
ever prevent his being one of the frankest men I 
ever met with. 

I did not altogether like Elliston in Wild Oats. 
He made too many faces, and reminded me of the 
minor theatres, where grimace is in considerable 
request. Perhaps also, since the time I fell in love 
with him in The Honeymoon, he was all the worse for 
having presided over a small theatre as manager for 
234 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

several years. He joined us after the play, and being 
tipsy, which is generally the case with him, I thought 
him very pleasant, although as I have since discovered 
there is not a heavier, more matter-of-fact, stupid 
companion on earth than Elliston, when he is sober. 

I asked George Lamb if he had heard Mr. Livius's 
new piece. 

" Part of it only ; but, from what I saw, I think it 
must be a very lively petite comcdie" answered 
Lamb. 

Elliston made very free with us all, and especially 
with George Lamb. 

As soon as the curtain dropped and we were all 
seated in the carriage, Elliston got in a passion with 
Livius's coachman for not immediately moving on. 

" What the devil is the matter ? " said he, " what 
detains your man ? All this fuss about a rascally 
three hundred pound-house and not twenty car- 
riages ! " 

" I told you Munden's day was over, and that he 
would not fill the house, before you engaged him for 
to-night," said George Lamb. 

" I say," answered Elliston, " Munden would have 
filled the house if it had been a fine night." 

" Not he," said George Lamb, " your crownation 
might, but not Munden ! " 

" Hold your tongue, you are a Whig," said Elliston ; 
and George Lamb was silent, after a grunt. 

" But what in the name of the devil is your ass of a 
coachman keeping us here for ? " said Elliston. 

" Why, Livius, I thought you piqued yourself on 
being at all times remarkably well appointed." 

Livius confessed he knew not what to make of it ; 
and put out his head to inquire of his footman what 
was the reason of being kept stationary. 

The footman's voice was drowned by the vocifera- 
tion of Elliston from the opposite window. 

" Where's Townsend, or any of the constables ? " 

A constable approached the carriage. 

" Why the devil don't you manage better ? " roared 

235 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSOtf 

out Elliston; "why is the road blocked up in this 
manner ? " 

" It is not blocked up at all, Mr. Elliston," answered 
the constable, "it's nothing in the world but the 
coachman as is so drunk, he can't sit on his box." 

" God bless my soul ! " said Livius, and then he 
called out again to his footman to know what was the 
matter. 

The footman either could not or did not choose to 
explain. 

" Get you then on the box and drive us home, Jem," 
said Livius. 

No sooner said than done. Jem, having mounted 
the box, entreated his fellow servant to give up the 
reins. 

" Touch my honour, touch my life," said the coach- 
man, who absolutely refused to part with the whip. 

" D n his rascally drunken soul ! " said Elliston, 
trying to force open the carriage-door. "I'll settle 
him 1 Trust me for having him off his perch in half a 
second. Of all things I abhor a drunkard ! " 

" For God's sake, Elliston, be quiet," said George 
Lamb. 

" You seem to take it perfectly easy," said I, to 
Lamb, "seeing that all our precious necks are in 
danger ! " 

" We must take our chance," answered Lamb 
quietly. " The only thing I particularly dread is the 
idea of Elliston attempting to drive us home himself. 
I can bear anything but that." 

The coachman and footman now appeared to be 
fighting on the box, Livius was scolding and bawling 
out of one window, Elliston faisant un bruit tel qiiil 
ny en eut jamais en enfer, at the other, because he 
could not get the coach door open, and nobody would 
come to his assistance. At last he succeeded; the 
footman made room for him on the box, and Elliston 
quietly threw the drunken coachman off on to the 
pavement, box-coat and all, in spite of his swearing 
and kicking. 
236 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Livius got out of the carriage, and picked the man 
up, to ascertain that he was alive, as he fell without 
uttering a groan. 

" Oh ! for shame, you cowardly wretch, to treat an 
honest poor coachman in that brutal way ! Why 
you've killed him, poor dear soul 1 " said an old hag, 
who happened to pass at the instant. 

Elliston, still smarting with the knocks, kicks and 
scratches he had got in his scuffle with the obstinate 
coachman, was not in a very gentle humour. The 
woman forced herself in his way, and he, I presume, 
pushed her rather ungallantly aside. 

" Oh you coward 1 oh you coward ! " screamed out 
the woman ; " strike a woman, hay 1 here's a coward 
for you ! " 

" Oh I Mr. Elliston," said I, shaking my head at 
him, as he stood at the carriage window. 

" I only touched her just so," said Elliston, tapping 
me on the head. 

" Just so ! " repeated his fair antagonist, " why he 
has half kill'd me ; here, watchman 1 watchman ! " 

The rattle was sprung, and behold Elliston and 
Livius surrounded by the guardians of the night. 

What became of the coachman I know not; but, 
in about five minutes more, Elliston jumped into the 
carriage and ordered the footman to drive to Mr. 
Livius's Hotel in Dover Street. 

" Where is Livius ? " asked we all three in a breath. 

" Gone to the watch-house," said Elliston, with the 
most perfect composure. 

" How so ? " asked George Lamb. 

" What has he done ? " inquired the young lady in 
a pet, declaring that no one had been to blame but 
Mr. Elliston ; therefore she would not stir till Mr. 
Livius was safe. 

" Nonsense, nonsense ! fair lady. Let him use my 
name at the watch-house 1 " 

"Where, I presume, you are well known, Mr. 
Mountebank," added I. 

" One of us must have gone," said Elliston laugh- 

237 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

ing, "and I tell you he will join us before we have 
finished our supper. It serves him right for having 
a drunken coachman. Why all our necks would have 
been broken by this time, but for me." 

" To hear that man talk," said George Lamb, 
" one might almost be led to believe he was a very 
fine fellow ! " 

On our arrival at Livius's lodgings in Dover Street, 
we found an elegant, cold supper laid out, with plenty 
of champagne on the side-board. 

" Your master is gone to the watch-house," said 
Elliston, "and has requested me to do the honours. 
Ah ! ah ! " continued he, taking up one of the soup 
plates, " we have white soup, I presume. I am very 
fond of white soup, and am very hungry. Pray, bring 
it up directly." 

The young lady and I declare that it was a shame 
and a sin to sit down without Livius. 

George Lamb begged leave to differ in opinion ; 
because he wanted his supper. 

Elliston insisted, and the white soup made its 
appearance. In about a quarter of an hour after we 
were seated, Livius entered the room quite out of 
breath. 

" Did not I tell you he would soon join us ? " 
said Elliston. " Sit down, my dear Livius. Your 
white soup was so excellent, that there is none left. 
You used my name, of course, at the watch- 
house ? " 

" If he had, he would have been kept there for a 
week," observed George Lamb, and Elliston laughed 
heartily, though very slily. 

" This," said Elliston, drawing out a small unbound 
volume from his pocket, " this is the French farce 
from which Kemble has taken the new piece he is to 
bring out next Thursday. What think you of our 
getting it up the same evening ? " 

" Let me see it," said Livius. Elliston desired that 
he would translate a few lines. 

George Lamb and Elliston together, after they had 
238 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

listened to a page or two, with one voice exclaimed, 
" Very stupid." 

" Mine is but mere literal translation," said Livius. 
" Harriette, no doubt, could make something of it." 

" Will you oblige me by undertaking it, madam ? " 
inquired Elliston, " and completing it in two days ? " 

" If anybody can be found to accomplish the songs," 
I observed, " I won't be behindhand." 

" I will rhyme them in English," said George Lamb, 
" if you really wish it." 

"And I will set them to music," added Livius, 
44 provided Mr. Lamb will sit up all night to get them 
done in time for me." 

" I think it wont answer," said George, " and be only 
tiring the poor performers, as well as ourselves, to no 
purpose ; but, if you really have fixed your heart upon 
the thing, I will devote a night, and finish the songs." 

Elliston waxed more generous as he waxed more 
drunk, and suddenly throwing the farce behind the 
fire, exclaimed, "This competition with the other 
house is paltry and ungentlemanlike. I will have 
none of it. It is in too bad a taste ; besides," said he, 
half in mockery, " Mr. Livius's piece is to have such 
a run, we shall want nothing else all the season ! " 

" Apropos of that little piece," said I, " I wish 
Livius would play the songs, and sing them to us." 

Livius was immediately seated at the pianoforte. 
When he got to the last chorus-song Elliston jumped 
up, declaring he was to sing that with the rest, and 
had not yet heard a word of it. He then began, with 
a serious face, accompanying Livius. 

" Oh 'tis love, 'tis love, 'tis love." 

" Elliston I " bawled out George Lamb, " why the 
deuce don't you come and finish your supper? I 
want to speak to you." 

Elliston took no notice ; but continued his " Oh ! 
'tis love, 'tis love, 'tis love." 

" Livius," then said George Lamb, " I want to ask 
you whether you have places to spare for your night ? " 

239 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

"Elliston won't allow me to leave off," replied 
Livius, still continuing to play, to Elliston's " Oh ! 
'tis love, 'tis love, 'tis love ! " 

" Leave off, you blockhead ! " said George Lamb 
to Elliston. " I will lay you fifty guineas that you do 
not repeat one line as Livius has written it, either in 
your song or your speech." 

Elliston appeared to agree, and give up the matter 
as hopeless, for, darting from the pianoforte towards 
Livius's young, female friend, who still continued at 
table, he gave her such an ardent embrace that she 
was quite frightened, and then, as I sat next, he 
conferred the same honour on me. 

" Good heavens ! what a mountebank is here ! " 
said I, pushing him from me. 

George Lamb sat next ; for he had not half finished 
his supper. Elliston placed himself in a theatrical 
attitude ready to embrace him. 

" And, as to you, my George ! " said he, with much 
pathos. 

" For God's sake," exclaimed George Lamb, with 
his mouth full of dried cherries, "for God's sake, do 
not play the fool with me ! " 

Elliston now seated himself by my side, and said, 
in a whisper, " Don't you want tea ? " 

" No, but you do, I see," answered I, and I had 
the charity to request Livius to give me some tea. 

Elliston did the honours of the tea-table. The tea 
had a surprising effect in making him stupid ; because 
it made him sober. He politely offered me his private 
box for Livius's night, and regretted that it was not 
a better one. It was a large box, on the stage ; but 
rather too high up. Livius had a private box to 
himself, and tickets for a host of friends. 

" It is three o'clock," said I, at last, " and I dare not 
risk my petite sante', another instant." 

" Good people are so scarce 1 " added George Lamb, 

" No," I added, " I am good for very little. You 
will find better people every day, and wiser; but 
nobody at all like me." 
240 



MEMOIRS OF KARRIETTE WILSON 

George Lamb expressed himself quite of this 
opinion. 

It was past four o'clock in the morning when I got 
home. 

The Duke of Leinster, Harry De Roos, and Sophia 
dined with me on the following day. Just as we were 
about to sit down to dinner Lord Deerhurst was 
announced. 

" Dear me, how tiresome," said Sophia. 

" Do not send him here, pray," said Leinster and 
de Roos in the same breath. I went down to ask 
him what he wanted, and informed him of my dinner- 
party, with whom I knew he was unacquainted. 

" Oh, I wish much to know the Duke of Leinster, 
so pray do introduce me," said Deerhurst. 

k6 No," I answered, " I shall do no such thing. That's 
frank and flat. If you don't like Sophia to dine here 
you may, with her consent, take her away with you, 
but I will never present you to any friend of mine. 
Sophia told you this morning that she was to meet 
the Duke of Leinster and his cousin." 

" Certainly," answered Deerhurst, " I have not the 
slightest objection ; but do, there's a dear good 
creature, present me to the Duke of Leinster." 

" You are, in all and everything, the meanest man 
on earth," was my civil remark. 

" You refuse then ? " said Deerhurst. 

"I do," repeated I impatiently, "and you must 
now allow me to wish you a good morning, as we 
were going to dinner immediately." 

"Then," said Deerhurst, " I must introduce myself, 
that's all : " and, disregarding all I could say or do to 
prevent him, he ran into the drawing-room, took off 
his hat with a low bow, and said, 

" Duke, allow me to introduce, and earnestly re- 
commend to your notice, Viscount Deerhurst." 

The Duke had no pride, and was very mean and 

stingy, nobody more so ; but he paid his bills, and 

was what the world calls an honourable man. To do 

him common justice, I do not think he would like to 

" 1 Q 241 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

break his word, however much it might be to his 
interest, and well as he loved money. He disliked 
Deerhurst's character, arid was too natural and not 
half polite enough to conceal his displeasure at being 
so unceremoniously intruded upon. He bowed very 
slightly without speaking, and the smile with which 
he greeted his lordship was scarcely perceptible. 

Harry De Roos was as proud as he was shy, and 
took no sort of notice of Deerhurst, beyond rising 
from his chair when his lordship turned from His 
Grace to his cousin. 

Deerhurst's stock of assurance was not to be 
diminished by two mere boys. He seated himself 
near Sophia, ever certain of her unqualified approbation 
at all events. 

" Well, Soph, my love, are you glad to see me ? " 

" Yes, I am very glad indeed," replied Sophia. 

" I'll tell you something, Lord Deerhurst," said I. 
" I do not like quarrelling with people and especially 
in my own house ; but, seriously, I must tell you 
that these gentlemen expected to meet Sophia and 
me only, and your intrusion is really a little cool." 

Sophia said I was quite right, it really was very 
cool indeed, and she had heard His Grace request 
that we would fix on a day when nobody else was 
coming. 

" If His Grace will say he wishes to get rid of me 
I am off," remarked his lordship. 

What could the easy tempered Leinster do less 
than declare his happiness to see him ? 

Deerhurst possesses talents and can be very agree- 
able. He was growing tired of being cut by so many 
respectable people ; therefore he set about winning 
the friendship of the Duke of Leinster. He talked of 
sailing and boats, big fiddles and Irish watchmen ; 
praised to the skies such of the Irish nobility as lived 
on their estates, and imitated the Irish brogue as 
though he had been practising it all the days of his 
life. Leinster was delighted with him. 

After dinner, Luttrell called to say that Amy gave 
242 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

her first party since her confinement, on this evening, 
and had permitted him to say that, as it was a mutual 
convenience that we should meet civilly at parties, 
and neither friendship not intimacy was necessary for 
that purpose, she was ready to ratify the engagement 
made between us a few years back, to offer me no 
insult and desired I would go to her in the course of 
the evening, and bring as many of my male friends as 
I pleased. 

I asked Leinster and De Roos if they would like to 
take me to Amy's with them. 

" Most willingly," was their answer. 

" Make no apologies for not asking me," said Deer- 
hurst, " for, with all my impudence, I do not think I 
could face that tartar of a sister of yours without a 
special invitation." 

" Are you fond of looking at jewellery ? " I asked 
Luttrell. 

" Very," answered Luttrell, " and I believe I am 
rather a good judge too." 

" Then," said I, " Sophia, my dear, if you have 
brought your jewels with you, pray ask Mr. Luttrell's 
opinion of their value." 

Sophia drew from her reticule two smart jewel- 
boxes, of Love the jeweller. 

" These are the jewels which were presented to my 
sister by Viscount Deerhurst," said I, as I handed 
them to Mr. Luttrell. 

The box contained a necklace of large green glass- 
beads, set in yellow metal. There was a leader ring, 
with a blue bead in it, a small Tunbridge-ware tooth- 
pick case, with " When this you see, remember me," 
superscribed on it, and two brass seals, one with the 
name of Sophia on it, the other, with a little winged 
figure, evidently meant for a cupid or a parrot ; but 
it was very difficult to decide which it most resembled. 
Everybody laughed heartily, but the loudest laugher 
of our party was Viscount Deerhurst. 

"And then," said Deerhurst, trying to recover 
himself, " and then, having won the young lady by 

243 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

dint of these valuable jewels, Robinson, the attorney 
of Bolton street, first draws up an agreement to secure 
to her an annuity of three hundred a year, and the 
next day tells you his agreement is not worth six- 
pence ! " 

There was only one of our society who carried 
politeness so far as to seem amused at such disgusting 
profligacy. 

Luttrell looked with unqualified contempt on his 
lordship. Leinster and De Roos, considering them- 
selves too young to set an example, or reform the 
age, fixed their eyes steadily on the carpet, while 
De Roos's fair cheek was tinged with a deep blush. 
Sophia alone joined Lord Deerhurst in his laugh ; 
declaring that it was very funny to be sure. 

" Lord Deerhurst," said I, " Sophia is my sister, 
and if she chooses to submit to insult and ill-usage 
from you, it shall not be in my house, where you were 
not invited," 

Sophia immediately worked herself up into a passion 
of tears, declaring that she did not want to be insulted, 
and would much rather not return to Lord Deerhurst, 
who, she was sure, was a very nasty man indeed, and 
hardly ever washed his head. 

Deerhurst carelessly declared himself quite ready to 
support the dire calamity, and wished, of all things, 
Sophia would live with her sister Harriette. 

" The man is not worth a thought, much less a tear," 
said I to Sophia. " You are welcome to my house as 
long as I have one to share with you ; in the meantime 
let us drive to Amy's." 

Sophia did not accompany us ; but retired with 
Lord Deerhurst, who had remarked in her ear that I 
was jealous and wanted him myself. 

" I think Harriette is a little jealous really, so 111 
go home with you, to make her mad," said Sophia. 

And off they went. 

Amy's drawing-room was quite full. She looked 
very well, and fairer, as well as less fierce, than before 
her confinement. Fanny appeared unusually lovely, 
244 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

dressed in a pale pink crape dress, which set off her 
rosy, white, delicate skin, to the greatest advantage ; 
and with her unadorned bright auburn curls, waving 
carelessly around her laughing, dark blue eyes and 
beautiful throat, she seemed the most desirable object 
in the room. Julia was very fair too ; perhaps her 
skin was whiter than Fanny's and of quite as delicate 
a texture ; but it had not the vermillion tinge, and 
the blue veins were less defined. Both were of the 
highest order of fine forms. They were also of the 
same height, which was that best adapted to perfect 
symmetry; their feet and ancles were alike models 
for the statuary's art, and Fanny's shoes fitted Julia as 
well as her own ; but Fanny's hair was dark and more 
glossy than Julia's. Fanny's teeth were beautiful, 
while Julia's, though strong, were uneven; and 
Fanny's smile was infinitely more attractive than 
Julia's, whose countenance was in fact, as I think I 
have before mentioned, rather harsh than pleasing. 
Yet there was such a decided resemblance in their 
tout ensemble, that everybody mistook Julia for 
Fanny's elder sister. 

This evening Julia, I suppose with a view to out- 
shine us all, wore a dress of white silvered lama on 
gauze, and a Turkish turban of bright blue, fringed 
with gold. There was a voluptuous and purely 
effeminate languor about Julia's character, which was 
well adapted to the eastern style of dress. The large, 
strait, gauze sleeve did not at all conceal the symmetry 
of her beautiful arm. Fanny's dimpled arms were 
quite uncovered, and encircled with elegant but 
simple bracelets, composed of plaited hair, clasped 
with a magnificently brilliant ruby. They were both 
infinitely graceful. Fanny would lay her laughing 
face on her folded arms, reclining on a table, while she 
made some odd reflections, or she would fasten her 
pocket-handkerchief or her shawl across her head and 
ears, when she felt the air affect her head, without 
inquiring of her glass whether she had thus added to 
or diminished her attractions : yet everything became 

245 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

her ; or rather all were determined to think faultless, 
her in whose beautiful eyes shone the warmest philan- 
thropy, whose every word and action proved the 
desire she ever felt to make others appear to 
advantage. 

Julia's attitudes, though graceful, were studied and 
luxurious ; but always modest and effeminate. 

Amy wore a yellow satin dress, fastened round the 
waist with a gold band. Her profuse raven locks 
were entirely unadorned, and her neck, arms and 
fingers were covered with glittering jewels of every 
colour. My own evening dresses were invariably 
composed of rich, figured, white French gauze over 
white satin ; and 1 never wore any ornaments in my 
hair, of which I was not a little proud ; but my ear- 
rings were of unusual length, and consisted of dia- 
monds, rubies and turquoise stones. A Mrs. Arm- 
strong, whom Amy had lately patronised, was of the 
party. She was the chere arnie of Colonel Armstrong, 
an aide-de-camp of the Duke of York. It was said 
of the duchess, that she carried her charity so far as 
to send yearly presents to the mistress of her royal 
husband's aide-de-camp, but if this were really true, 1 
have always heard that, in all but the ceremony of 
marriage, the mother of Colonel Armstrong's children, 
from her steady adherence to her protector during 
seven years, and her resistance of temptation, which 
assailed her in every shape, deserved the encourage- 
ment of the great and the good. 

In spite of the strict economy which she invariably 
practised, the colonel had lately decided that his 
circumstances would not, in common prudence, admit 
of his running the slightest risk of increasing his 
family. 

" We will be excellent friends, my love," said he, 
to his better half, " but friends only." 

This may be very easy at the age of fifty, but his 
Lucy was still in the prime of youth, and old as he 
was she loved her Tommy dearly, and was very 
melancholy at his determination. 
246 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" We cannot have separate beds you know, my 
dear," said Lucy ; " because there is not a spare bed 
in the house." 

" That is true, my love," answered her Tommy, 
" but it really must be all the same." 

Lucy sighed heavily. 

" Go and visit ydur friend Amy, my dear," said the 
kind colonel, "it will enliven you; and since our 
family is not to be increased, I can afford to put my 
last dozen of shirts out to be made. Now that our 
boy William can run alone, there is no necessity for 
my poor Lucy making such a slave of herself." 

" Alas ! " thought poor Lucy, " I am terribly afraid 
of being tempted in Amy's gay society ; " but she did 
not say so. 

Lucy was a very neat, lady-like little creature, 
who used to wear very fine muslin gowns, ornamented 
with her own beautiful embroidery. Her teeth were 
extremely white and regular, and her lips of bright 
vermilion ; but 1 could not discern any other beauty 
in her. Nevertheless she was a great favourite with 
the men, and would make fifty conquests while Julia 
was bungling with one. Lucy had a way of disarming 
the most impudent, when they attempted to take the 
slightest liberty with her : not by her dignified 
deportment, nor by her wit ; but by the mere 
simplicity of her truly modest carriage, which was 
so far removed from prudery that nobody knew how 
to offend her. 

This evening was set apart for dancing, and Fanny 
and Julia being the very best dancers in the room 
were in their glory. 

All the world were, or wished they were there, but 
many could not get further than the passage, the 
whole house being so crammed. Among others was 
the man they call the dancing Montgomery, although 
perhaps I do him too much honour by putting him in 
print ; he was such a slovenly unlicked cub, of what 
particular family I am ignorant ; but it was clear this 
man had originally been designed by nature for a lout, 

247 



MEMOIRS OF HARB1ETTE WILSON 

only he went to Paris and came home a dancer, every 
inch of him below the girdle. As for his shoulders 
and arms they continued as before ; Frenchmen can- 
not work miracles like German princes ! but they 
converted into a fop this ready-made clown, to the 
utter discomfiture of our gauzes and Indian muslins, 
which were sure to suffer, as often as we ventured to 
employ him to hand us tea, negus, or orgeat. 

" Would you like to dance ? " said George Brummell, 
to Mrs. Armstrong, en passant. 

" I have only just left off*/' answered she, rising, 
and curtseying with much politeness ; " but I am 
never tired of dancing." 

"You have a dancing face," Brummell quietly 
observed, fixing his eyes steadily on her countenance 
for a second or two, and then passing on. 

Poor Lucy, she afterwards declared to us, was 
never so ashamed and humbled since she had been 
born. 

All this time, Montgomery's thick straight locks 
were steadily beating time on his watery forehead, as 
he trod the mazy dance with all his might, footing it 
away most scholastically. He did indeed dance 
famously ; but then he was always out at the elbows, 
which appeared to have no connection whatever with 
his feet, particularly on this eventful night, when one 
of his elbows came in such neighbourly contact with 
the eye of the poor Due de Berri, who was just enter- 
ing the room, while Montgomery was swinging short 
corners near the door, as sent his Royal Highness 
reeling backwards. 

Tout le mondefut au desespoir ! 

" Mon Dieu ! Quel malheur, monsieur le due ! " said 
Amy. 

" Rien, rien du tout" answered the good-natured 
Due de Berri, holding his handkerchief to his eye. 

" // y a tant de monde id, ce soir, et la salle nest pas 
grande, comme vous voyez, m,onsieur" said Fanny, to 
His Highness ; as usual endeavouring to excuse and 
conciliate all parties. 
248 



MEMOIRS OF HARRTETTE WILSON 

" Ma fois ! je riy vois goutte ! " said the duke, 
laughing, with his handkerchief still before his eyes. 

Montgomery came forward to express his regrets ; 
but it was plain, from his manner, that he did not at 
all attribute the accident to anything like awkward- 
ness on the part of himself or his elbows, of which he 
seemed not a part. However, I do not mean to 
depreciate Mr. Montgomery's dancing in the least; 
only do but give him elbow-room and he will astonish 
you ! 

Mr. Quintin Dick of Curzon Street Mayfair was 
now announced, and contrived to make his way 
towards Amy. 

Quintin Dick is a man of fifteen or twenty thousand 
a year ; at least, so I guess ; for there is no subject 
on which people are more likely to be mistaken in 
than that of private finances. However, in spite of 
his fortune, Quintin Dick is and has been one of the 
most unpopular men within the United Kingdom. 
By birth an Irishman, by trade a linen-draper, no, by- 
the-bye, I am wrong, it was his father, who, they say, 
dealt in linen, not Quintin himself, carroty Quintin, 
of whom I cannot say I ever knew any particular harm. 
I however took it for granted that he was mean and vilely 
shabby, having never heard two opinions on that point. 

I remember Colonel Armstrong telling me one day 
at Brighton, that the woman who ever got a shilling 
or a shilling's worth out of Mr. Quintin Dick, ought 
to be immortalised. I immediately resolved to make 
the attempt. Meeting Dick the next morning on the 
Steyne, I told him that I had taken a fancy to an 
article of millinery, which I was at that moment too 
poor to purchase, though the price of it was under 
five pounds. Can it be credited ! he actually requested 
permission to send it home I 

Armstrong would not believe me till I showed him 
the receipt. Au reste, Quintin is the man to whom 
somebody is said to have remarked, observing that 
he wore the wrist-bands of his shirt-sleeves so fashion- 
ably low as to pass his knuckles, " I am sorry, Mr. 

249 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Dick, to see that you have so much linen on hand." 
It strikes me however, that this must be a joke of a 
hundred years old. No matter. He came this even- 
ing to ask us three sisters, as well as Julia and Mrs. 
Armstrong, to dine with him on the approaching 
Saturday. 

" Who are your men ? " I asked. 

" Lords Hertford and Alvanly, the Hon. J. Ward, 
Nugent, Luttrell, and another man or two, whose 
names I have forgotten," Dick replied. 

We all accepted his invitation on account of his 
party. For himself, he was a man of very few words. 
In fact, he scarcely ever spoke at all ; and when he 
did he attempted to be satirical; but his were the 
very worst attempts I ever heard. 

Montagu, the relation of the lady in Gloucester 
Place, of chimney-sweeping notoriety, assisted to 
keep up the spirit of the dance. Ward walked about, 
repeating Greek and Latin verses to himself as usual. 
He made love to Amy and Fanny alternately. I 
once knew a mistress of his, nay two 1 Perhaps I 
may tell you what sort of a character they gave him 
some other time. Napier came sneaking and grinning 
into the room, and informed us that either Lord Bath 
or Lord Bathurst, I forget which, was bringing him 
into parliament. 

"More shame for you, who ought not to have 
given up your independence for millions," said I. 
" You cannot now vote against the man who gives 
you a seat." 

Napier showed his teeth, merely observing, " You 
have such a comical way of talking to one." 

Lord Fife now came sailing up the room, and all 
the women immediately made up to him. " My 
lord," said one, "have you spoken to the manager 
about bringing my young friend out at the opera 
house this season ? " 

" Yes, yes," said Fife, nodding his head, " I saw him 
to-day ; he expects her. When you take her to him, 
send in my card and he will receive you well." 
250 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Dear Lord Fife," said another, " we want to go 
to Elliston's masquerade." 

" Certainly, certainly, to be sure," answered the 
good-natured Fife, still nodding assent, " I will send 
you tickets to-morrow." 

" And I," said Amy, " want a box at Covent 
Garden on Monday." 

" To be sure, to be sure," still continued the pro- 
mising earl. 

" Lord Fife," said I, " Sir Harcourt Lees wants to 
shoot grouse this season, on your estate in the North." 

" To be sure, tell me when he goes, and 111 give 
him a letter to my brother." 

" I know an excellent old Frenchwoman," said Mrs. 
Armstrong, "who wants you to buy a watch of hers." 

" Let her come to me in the morning, to be sure ! 
to be sure ! " 

I could not help laughing at Lord Fife. " Why 
what a good-natured man you are," said I. 

" Oh 1 " answered Fife, " I have such female levees 
every morning, you'd be surprised. People of the 
first respectability, I assure you, do me the honour to 
come when they want money." 

" How very condescending," said I. 

" Too much so sometimes, I can tell you," answered 
Fife, " for one morning last week, I gave 500 among 
them ; but this, you know, will not quite do every 
morning : besides time, time is what 1 regret ; they 
take up all my time, I can't get out. It is often past 
seven before I can get in my carriage, for the life of 
me, and then I lose my dinner to get out at all." 

" Why don't you make your servants deny you ? " 
said I. 

" Why I tried that, but then my valet denied me 
one day to a charming creature whom I wished of all 
things to see, and I was obliged to open my doors to 
them all again, lest this sweet girl should re- visit me, 
and a second time be refused." 

I think it was on this evening I saw Colonel Parker 
for the first time. He appeared to have seriously 

251 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

attached himself to my sister Fanny. He was an 
officer in the Artillery, and a near relation to Lady 
Hyde Parker, I believe. I was anxious to see poor 
Fanny comfortably settled, and her tastes being all 
so quiet and her temper so amiable, I knew that 
riches were by no means necessary to her felicity. 
Colonel Parker possessed a comfortable independence, 
and was very anxious to have Fanny entirely under 
his protection. " She shall bear my name, and 1 will 
show her all the respect a wife can require, and she 
shall always find me a gentleman," said he. I could 
not however help thinking that Fanny, with her 
strictly honest principles, her modest, amiable 
character, and her beauty, ought to have been 
Parker's wife instead of his mistress, and therefore I 
did not advise her to live with him. His person 
was elegant ; fine teeth and fine hair were however 
all he had to boast of in the way of beauty ; but 
Fanny did not like handsome men, and appeared very 
much to admire and esteem Colonel Parker. I do 
not exactly know what age man he was ; but I 
should think him under thirty. 

I could not but observe the gay Montagu and his 
wonderful luck in addressing himself to witty persons. 
He was now laughing himself almost into hysterics 
at something Mr. Dick said to him at one of the 
windows. Then I heard him say, " Capital ! 
charming ! " in answer to something which the Due 
de 'Berri had said. At last 1 saw him talking to 
Leinster. "This will decide it," said I to myself; 
" for if he says anything is excellent, or charming, or 
capital, that His Grace utters, I know what I will 
do." I had scarcely settled the business in my own 
mind, when I saw Montagu blowing his nose in an 
agony of laughter at something superexcellent, which 
he declared the poor bog-trotter Leinster had uttered. 
This was too much, well as I love a civil man ; so, 
calling Montagu to my side, after having placed 
myself close to some noisy people, who were talking 
and gesticulating with all their might, I asked him if 
252 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

he had heard an excellent story about Amy and 
Harry Mildmay. 

" No, but pray tell it me directly : it must be so 
very excellent/' 

" Listen then," said I, and I began to laugh and to 
say " you must know Amy met Mildmay in the park ; " 
and then I went on with a few unconnected words, 
affecting suitable action, and to be half dead, or quite 
choked with laughter. So far from repeating any- 
thing like a story I did not connect two words of 
common sense together ; and if I had, we were in 
such a noisy neighbourhood I could not have been 
heard, yet Montagu, with equal reason, once more 
gave full play to his risible faculties, and appeared 
quite as delighted with my story as he had been with 
Leinster 's, declaring aloud it was the very best thing 
he had ever heard in his whole life. 

But 1 am tired of this party of Amy's, therefore 
my kind readers will permit me to change the 
subject 

The next day, I was remarking to my young 
admirer, the Duke of Leinster, that life was nothing 
without a little love ; and then begged him to say 
who was best worth having. 

" I think the Duchess of Beaufort's brother, Lord 
George Leveson Gower, the most desirable man I 
ever saw," said Leinster. 

" How is one to obtain a sight of your beauty ? " 

" I cannot assist you ; and if I could I would not," 
His Grace replied. 

" I do not care," said I to myself, after Leinster 
had left me, " 1 am not going to sit down all my 
life to love this fool. I must have something for the 
mind to feed on." 

I was interrupted while making these wise reflec- 
tions by a visit from Wellington. 

" Here is a thing in the shape of an intellectual 
companion," thought I. 

After Wellington had left me I entirely forgot 
him : nay, before ; for I now recollect that he said 

253 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

something about my bad taste in talking on subjects 
irrelevant to what was going on ; such as a remark I 
might have made about my rose-tree or my dinner, 
when I ought to have been all soul ! No matter ! 
The soul's fire is partly kept alive by dinner ; or, 
whether it is or not, still dinner, or even a rose-tree, 
is infinitely more interesting than the Wellington ! 

First love is all in all, say a great many writers, 
and a great many more old maids, particularly ugly 
ones, who have been courted only once for first and 
last, and must even make the best of it, For my 
own part, if I am to credit the quiet, unimpassioned 
assertion of the Duke of Argyle, who knew human 
nature well, after the hey-day of mere blind love was 
over, I must believe myself not naturally given to 
change. 

" Harriette," said Argyle, " is more steady in her 
attachments than almost any woman of her celebrity, 
so surrounded with flatterers, whom I have ever met 
with." 

Of course, my fair readers would not have me 
guilty of such extreme ill-breeding as to differ in 
opinion from a noble duke ! Nevertheless, 1 confess 
that I had only ceased to love one, who was bound 
for life to another, and who had most cruelly trifled 
with my feelings, while he took a most unfair advan- 
tage of my youth, of my warmth of heart, and of my 
total lack of experience. 

I now felt le besom tf aimer, with almost the same 
ardour as when I used to follow the handsome 
stranger and his large dog, which induces me to 
believe, that never did a fair lady die of love for one 
man, whilst others equally amiable were dying for her 
smiles. 

In a fit of folly I wrote a letter to Lord G. L. 
Gower, requesting him to come and meet me in the 
Regent's Park at eleven o'clock on a Sunday 
morning; at the same time assuring him, that 
desirous as I was, from all I had heard of his perfec- 
tions, to make his acquaintance, yet, if he expected to 
254 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

please me, he must show me just as much respect and 
humble deference, as though I had not ordered him 
up to Marylebone Fields to be looked at. 
Lord G. L. Gower's reply was : 

" I dp not usually answer such letters ; but there is 
something so eccentric and uncommon in yours, that 
I cannot resist complying with your request, there- 
fore you will find me at the appointed time and 
place. 

"G. L. GOWER." 

As the hour drew near for fulfilling my engagement 
in the Regent's Park, I recollected that I did 
not in the least know the person of Lord G. L. 
Gower, and felt much puzzled how I should contrive 
to distinguish him from any handsome man who 
might happen to be enjoying the fresh air towards 
Primrose Hill. However, trusting to chance, or 
sympathy, or that instinct by which, according to 
Falstaff, the lion knows the true prince, I dressed 
myself with unusual care and contrived to be punctual. 
I observed a tall, rather handsome and gentlemanly 
man looking about him ; but as I felt at once that he 
was not in any respect cut out for the honour of 
filling up the void in my heart, I prayed the God of 
Love to send me a better subject. 

However, there was nothing to be seen at that early 
hour on Sunday morning which in the least resembled 
a gentleman, or even, in their Sunday new coats and 
bran new yellow leather gloves, could be mistaken for 
one, that came within a mile of me. 

" This must be Leinster's Apollo," said I. How 
could I address myself to such a booby ? True, this 
man may perhaps have a certain indescribable charm 
about him, &je ne sais guoi, which may not be discover- 
able at the first glance ! I ventured to raise my eyes 
to his face, and, if I did not laugh, I looked as though 
I was thinking about it ; and on this he spoke and 
smiled, and blushed, and bowed. 

I conceived that, having brought a man up to 

255 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Marylebone Fields on such a terribly hot morning, 
it would not have been fair or lady-like to have dis- 
missed him, until I had given hi$ talents and powers 
of pleasing a fair trial. 1 walked him up to the tip- 
top of Primrose Hill, and then towards Hampstead, 
and then back again to Great Portland Street. 

At last his lordship made a full stop, while he took 
off his hat to wipe his face, declaring he could go no 
further, as he was quite unaccustomed to walking and 
the sun was so very oppressive. He therefore entreated 
that I would permit him to accompany me immediately 
to my house, if only to sit down and rest, or other- 
wise he apprehended fever or sudden death ! 

I assured him I was sorry, very sorry, and hoped 
such fatal consequences would not follow our little 
rural bit of pleasure ; at the same time I could only 
express my regrets, while I frankly declared to him 
that he was not in the least the sort of person I 
wanted. 

Lord George L. Gower was too proud, too well- 
looking, to be deeply wounded at my determination, 
so he smiled, and bowed, and wished me good morning, 
declaring himself much amused with the eccentricity 
and frankness of my character. 

It will not do, I see, to lay one's self out for love, 
thought I, after his lordship had left me. It comes, 
like money, when one is not thinking about it. 
Reading is a much more independent amusement 
than loving. Books one may cut, when one is tired 
of them ; so I began immediately on arriving home 
with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Letters. The 
style was very unequal I thought : now paltry and 
ungraceful, now elevated. The same observations 
were applicable to the sentiments she expressed. In 
some letters one would accuse her of being both 
indecent and profligate ; in others she displayed her- 
self as the most refined, elegant and delicate of her 
sex. I read as far as this passage : " Our vulgar 
notions that Mahomet did not own women to have 
any souls, is a mistake. It is true, he says they are 
256 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

not of so elevated a kind, and therefore must not hope 
to be admitted into the paradise appointed for the 
men, who are to be entertained by celestial beauties. 
But there is a place of happiness destined for souls of 
the inferior order, where all good women are to be in 
eternal bliss. Any woman that dies unmarried is 
looked upon to die in a state of reprobation. To con- 
firm this, I believe they reason that the end of the 
creation of woman is to increase and multiply, and 
that she is only properly employed in the works of 
her calling, when she is bringing forth children, or 
taking care of them, which is all the virtue God 
expects of her." 

I threw the book down at this passage, beginning 
to feel very much ashamed of myself; I rang my 
bell, and sent to my bookseller for the " History of 
Mahomet," hoping that most prolific prophet would 
put me in the way of obeying his commands in case, 
after duly studying his laws, I were disposed to turn 
Turk. 

I seriously determined to choose my own religion, 
instead of following blindly that which happened to 
be my father's. If this determination be sinful, I 
must still think it ever has been, arid ever will be the 
sin of all intelligent minds. The uneducated child, 
or the rudest clown who earns his hard fare by the 
sweat of his brow, and whistles as he returns home 
for want of thought, will give the same answers, 
when you ask why they say their prayers, namely, 
"Because the parson says I ought." Will it not 
occur to them that accident has had much to do 
with their being Christians, or Jews, or Turks? 
Will not they be aware of the force of early im- 
pressions, good or bad, and, if but to impress on 
their mind the wisdom and justice, as well as the 
superiority of the religion they were born in, will they 
not compare it steadily with that of the greater part 
of the creation ? It may be answered that all religions 
are good, and we have but to act up to our belief of 
what is right, which is all that justice can require of 

i R 257 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

us : yet will the ardent mind, while suffering under the 
various ills which flesh is heir to, be led to doubt and 
to search eagerly into the reason why a just God, who 
is our father, has created us for so much misery. 

I pondered a whole night on these expressive words 
of Lord Byron, in his " Childe Harold " : 

Our life is a false nature, 'tis not in 

The harmony of things this hard decree, 

This uneradicable taint of sin, 

This boundless Upas, this all blasting tree, 

Whose root is earth, whose leaves and branches 

The skies, which rain their plagues on me like dew, 

Disease, death, bondage all the woes we see not, which 

throbs through 

The immedicable soul, with heart-aches ever new. 
Yet, let us ponder boldly 'tis a base 
Abandonment of reason, to resign 
Our right of thought our last and only place 
Of refuge ; this at least, shall still be mine : 
Though, from our birth, the faculty divine 
Is charmed and tortured cabin'd, cribbed, confined, 
And bred in darkness, lest the truth should shine 
Too brightly, in the unprepared mind, 
The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the blind. 

However all my time, and all my pondering, and 
all my skill, only confirmed me the more steadily in 
this opinion that I know nothing about it. 

I had long been sentimentally in love with Lord 
Byron, and some years previous to the publication of 
the last canto of " Childe Harold," I had written to 
him to solicit the honour of his acquaintance. 

"If, my lord," said I, in my letter, " to have been 
cold and indifferent to every other modern poet, while I 
have passed whole nights in studying your productions 
with the eagerness of one who has discovered a new 
source of enjoyment as surprising as it was delightful, 
deserves gratitude from the vanity of an author, or 
the gallantry of a gentleman, you will honour me 
with a little of your friendship." 
258 



MEMOIRS OF HARR1ETTE WILSON 

Would you believe, reader, this eloquent epistle 
obtained me no answer during three long days ? I 
was furious, and wrote again to tell him that he was 
a mere pedant ; that my common sense was a match 
for his fine rhymes ; that the best of us poor weak 
mortals and I acknowledged him to be at the head 
of the list must still be ignorant, subject to sickness, 
ill-temper, and various errors in judgment, therefore 
was there little excuse for his impertinence, in pre- 
suming to find fault with the whole world, as he had 
done in his " English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," 
at an age when his natural judgment could not be 
matured. It was vulgar, and showed the littleness 
which some want of philanthropy towards our poor 
fellow creatures always must evince. Was he really 
so superior, and would he crush the poor worms which 
dared not aspire to his perfections ? Or was he but a 
mere upstart man, of extraordinary genius, without 
strength of mind to know what he would be at? 
Could he not, at least, have declined the honour I 
wanted to confer on him, civilly ? 

This eloquent letter ended simply thus, after assur- 
ing him that it was now much too late to make my 
acquaintance, as I had changed my mind and no 
longer desired it the least in the world like the fox 
and the grapes 

" you be hang'd ! 

" HARRIETTS WILSON." 

This, to a favourite, was tolerably severe ; but when 
I take a liking to a person I must and will be some- 
thing to them ; so if they will not like me I always 
make it my business and peculiar care that they shall 
dislike and quarrel with me. Let me once get them 
into a quarrel and I am sure of them. 

The next day I received the following answer from 
Lord Byron, dated Albany, Piccadilly. 

" If my silence has hurt * your pride or your feelings,' 
to use your own expressions, I am very sorry for it ; 
be assured that such effect was far from my intention. 

259 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Business, and some little bustle attendant on changing 
my residence, prevented me from thanking you for 
your letter as soon as I ought to have done. If my 
thanks do not displease you now, pray accept them. 
I could not feel otherwise than obliged by the desire 
of a stranger to make my acquaintance. 

" I am not unacquainted with your name or your 
beauty, and I have heard much of your talents ; but 
I am not the person whom you would like, either as 
a lover or a friend. I did not, and do not ' suspect 
you/ to use your own words once more, of any design 
of making love to me. I know myself well enough 
to acquit any one, who does not know me, and still 
more those who do, from any such intention. I am 
not of a nature to be loved, and so far, luckily for 
myself, I have no wish to be so. In saying this, I do 
not mean to affect any particular stoicism, and may 
possibly, at one time or other, have been liable to 
those follies for which you sarcastically tell me I have 
now no time : but these, and everything else, are to 
me at present objects of indifference ; and this is a 
good deal to say, at six-arid -twenty. You tell me 
that you wished to know me better ; because you 
liked my writing. I think you must be aware that a 
writer is in general very different from his productions, 
and always disappoints those who expect to find in 
him qualities more agreeable than those of others ; I 
shall certainly not be lessened in my vanity as a 
scribbler, by the reflection that a work of mine has 
given you pleasure ; and, to preserve the impression 
in its favour, I will not risk your good opinion by 
inflicting my acquaintance upon you. 

" Very truly your obliged servant. 

" B." 

This was very dry ; but, I had not aspired to Lord 
Byron's love arid I did not despair of making his 
acquaintance. I am indeed surprised that I never 
fell in love with his lordship ; but, certain it is, that, 
though I would have given anything to have been his 
260 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

most humble friend and servant, his beauty was of a 
nature never to inspire me with warmer sentiments. 

There was nothing whatever voluptuous in the 
character of it ; it was wholly intellectual : and as 
such I honoured it ; but give me for my lover an 
indolent being who, while he possesses talents and 
genius to do anything he pleases, pleases himself most 
and best in pleasing me ! Au reste, I admire and 
look up to heroes, but indolent men make the best 
lovers. 

I was a long while before I could convince Lord 
Byron that as a lover he would never have suited me ; 
and really did not excite any passion in my breast ; 
but, from the moment I had succeeded, his lordship 
threw off all reserve and wrote and spoke to me with 
the confidence of easy friendship and good-will, as 
though he had been delighted to find a woman capable 
of friendship, to whose vanity it was not at all neces- 
sary to administer by saying soft things to her. 



261 



CHAPTER XI 

ON the Thursday which was to be big with the fate 
of Livius's farce, I took a party of friends to Mr. 
Elliston's private box. Drury Lane was crowded. 
Livius had at least eight people in the small box 
allotted to him by the manager. He paid me a flying 
visit and seemed as much agitated as though he were 
about to be tried for high treason. I proposed chang- 
ing boxes with him, to accommodate his friends. He 
was highly delighted, and the exchange was made, 
much, I believe, to the annoyance of Mr, Elliston, 
though I knew not why it grieved him. 

Livius's piece commenced almost as soon as we 
were quietly seated again. He was certainly much 
indebted to the exertions of all the very excellent per- 
formers who played in it, particularly Elliston and 
Harley. The piece went off with spirit. I never saw 
a poor man tremble as Livius did during the first act. 
" Who would write for the stage ? " thought I. Livius 
was all over the house at once ; both before and behind 
the scenes. He could not rest anywhere. 

" Do sit down," said I, handing him a chair. 
" Let the public be hanged ! What great crime 
would there be if your little piece happened not to be 
to their taste ? " 

" Oh, fancy," said Livius, " the agitation of coming 
thus before the public for the first time ! " 

" Fiddlestick ! " said I. 

He was now growing a little more tranquil, while 
Elliston was charming away his fears, as well as the 
ennui of the audience. It was at that part where he 
262 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

expresses his rapture at the beauty and loveliness of 
his valet's wife, while the unfortunate husband, so 
well represented by Harley, stands in an agony behind 
his master's chair, not daring to acknowledge his 
marriage for fear of losing his place. 

The piece to be performed next was The Corona- 
tion. A man in the pit, at that moment when Elliston 
ought to have been most pathetic, mounted the boards 
which were erected down the middle of the pit, I 
suppose to obtain a better view. 

"You must not stand there, sir," vociferated 
Elliston to the man, in a loud angry voice, in the 
midst of his love-speech, to the utter dismay of poor 
Livius, who absolutely gasped for breath. 

Sams, who was Livius's publisher, was in my box, 
and ventured to hiss, which example was followed by 
a faint vibration from the pit. The valet's wife 
looked rather silly at being thus cut by her admiring 
swain. Elliston came forward, as though ashamed of 
his impetuosity, and, gracefully bowing, addressed the 
audience somewhat to this effect : 

" As manager and proprietor of this theatre, I 
must request and desire that none of you gentlemen 
mount those boards," and then, with all the impu- 
dence of the most perfect nonchalance, he turned 
round to his neglected fair one, and resumed his 
vows of love from where he had left off. 

" Elliston is very drunk," said poor Livius, looking 
as pale as a ghost with dread of what might follow. 

" Not so very drunk yet, neither," said I, " since he 
has to play again, in The Coronation to-night." 

" Oh ! " said Livius, shaking his head mournfully, 
" Elliston always plays the king most naturally when 
he is most drunk." 

" I have no doubt," answered I, " that Elliston 
plays his part best when he has been drinking, since 
he is always so excessively stupid and dull when 
sober. Except this trifling interruption, your little 
piece has gone off without a single accident or blunder ; 
so be calm, man 1 " 

263 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Livius told me that he was about to bring out a 
young lady of infinite talent as a singer. " She is in 
my private box, and Elliston has promised to hear 
her best song, from the pit, after the audience have 
left the house to-night." 

I asked if I might remain to hear her. 

" Certainly," said Livius, " and for that purpose I 
will conduct you to a private pit-box. The young 
lady is to sing on the stage." 

Livius's piece was announced for the next night, 
amidst loud plaudits. 

We may guess that Livius naturally had a vast 
number of his own friends among the audience. It 
was in fact a very trifling production, and yet it was 
dramatic. However I never heard of it after it had 
run its allotted time, though I think I have seen 
many worse things last longer. 

I thought that I too perhaps might find amusement 
in writing something from the French for the stage 
so I, some days afterwards, fixed upon Moliere's 
comedy of the Malade Imaginaire, which I hastily 
transformed into an English three-act piece. 

But I forgot to mention what became of Livius's 
protegee. 

After the audience had left the theatre, Livius 
handed me downstairs to a pit- box, saying, " I must 
now leave you to attend my poor, timid, young 
friend." The lamps and candles were all extinguished, 
when Elliston threw himself along the benches in the 
pit. Soon afterwards Livius came upon the stage, 
now lighted by a single lamp, conducting a very ill- 
favoured young lady in a shawl. She began to sing very 
scientifically, but her voice was not pleasing. Study had 
done much for her, while nature had been a niggard. 

Elliston appeared to be going to sleep, as soon as 
he had heard the first verse of a most barbarously 
long song ; but, accidentally observing me, he climbed 
up to my box from the pit, making a noise, which 
altogether discouraged the poor young lady by this 
rude inattention to her melody. 
264 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Why do not you play harlequin ? " said I. 

" I am too old," he replied : and then asked me 
how the farce went off. 

" Famously," I replied. " I see you know how to 
profit by my advice, and you made fewer faces. 
But you took a great liberty with the public, when 
you began scolding the audience, instead of minding 
what you were engaged in," I observed to him. 

" What business had that man to stick himself up 
there ? " Elliston asked. 

" From sympathy ! He was looking at a mounte- 
bank!" 

During the whole of this time, the poor young 
lady was exerting herself by the light of her solitary 
lamp, iipureperte! 

" It is really unmanly," I observed, " to be so un- 
feelingly inattentive to a beginner, and one of the fair 
sex." 

" Oh ! " whispered Elliston, " Livius wants to 
father all his old sweethearts on me, I believe. I do 
not allude to this lady," said he, laughing, " it would 
be a libel on herself, and on mankind, to doubt her 
respectability ; but then she cannot sing, and what is 
worse, he is going to bring me up three or four more 
next week." 

Oh, mon Dieu ! it has just occurred to me, that to 
have told this story of Elliston and Livius, in due 
time, it ought not to have come in these eight years 
at soonest; and I must now go back with my 
Memoirs ; but what does it signify to my readers, 
the story will do as well, and amuse as much 
now, as later on ; and if this book meets due en- 
couragement, I may write something afterwards, with 
infinitely more regularity. 

" It is all settled," said Fanny to me, on the night 
before Mr. Dick's dinner-party, " and I am to be 
Mrs. Parker." 

" I hope you will be happy," said I ; " but I wish 
you were married," 

265 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Why should poor Parker marry a woman with a 
ready-made family ? " asked Fanny. 

I declined offering an opinion, fearing to do harm. 

Fanny was four years my senior, and possessed 
perhaps a larger portion of what is called common 
sense than myself. An reste, the thing was settled 
between her and Parker, who were to proceed 
together to Portsmouth, where Colonel Parker's 
regiment was stationed, after they had passed a fort- 
night at Brighton. 

" Suppose we make a party, and hire a house for 
you and Julia and me ? " 

" The very thing I wish," said Fanny ; " for London 
is growing very stupid. We meet no one but the 
Hon. Colonel Collyer and Lord Petersham about 
the streets. 

"Oh, yes," said I, "we also see Lady Heathcote 
and Lady Ann Wyndham." 

" And that makes it worse still," added Fanny, 
" for I really believe neither of those good ladies has 
missed Hyde Park or the Opera, one single night 
for the last twenty years, or changed the colour of 
their chariot blinds ; Heathcote, rosy red ! and the 
gentle Ann's interesting yellow ! How very tired I 
am of seeing these women ! " 

Julia called on me before Fanny had left, and our 
little excursion to Brighton was fixed for the following 
week. 

When we had settled this important affair, my 
servant informed me that a lady requested to offer 
herself in the place of Miss Hawkes, my late dame de 
compagnie, who had just left me to be married to her 
cousin. I desired him to show her upstairs. She 
came tripping into the room with the step of a child. 
She wore short petticoats, and a small French bonnet 
stuck at the top of her head. I should imagine her 
age to have been about forty : indeed she owned to 
six-and-twenty. 

" Who will recommend you, pray, madam ? " 

" The Countess Palmella, wile of the Portuguese 
266 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Ambassador, in South Audley Street ; I have been 
educating her children." 

I asked if the countess's had been her first situation. 

She replied in the affirmative. 

"What were you doing before that, pray, 
ma am ? " 

" Why," said the lady, with much affectation, " you 
see I was daily, nay hourly, expecting to get settled 
in life. I had a small property and I went to Bath. 
Several of my friends had found charming husbands 
at Bath. However, time slipped away madam, and 
by some strange fatality or other I exhausted my 
little resources, and did not manage to get settled in 
life : that is the truth of it." 

It stuck me that this curious woman with the odd 
bonnet, would amuse me as well as any other lion, 
pour le moment, and being acquainted with Amy's 
poor beau the Count Palmella, I told her she might 
come to me the following day. 

She seemed absolutely enraptured, as though mine 
had been an atmosphere which would rain men upon 
her, and our bargain was concluded. She was a 
straight, tall, long-backed lath of a woman, with a 
remarkably long face, small twinkling eyes, fine hair, 
and a bad skin, in spite of the white paint she used to 
beautify it. So much for Miss Eliza Higgins. 

The next evening found us all quite rayonnante, 
waiting for our dinner in Mr. Dick's elegant drawing- 
room. 

" We will certainly not wait for Mr. Ward," said 
Dick, looking at his watch. 

" To be sure not, who the devil waits for men ? " 
exclaimed Lord Alvanly. 

There was a thundering rap at the door, and then 
entered the Honourable Mr. Ward, looking for all 
world like a tobacconist. He was followed by his 
servant to the very door of the drawing-room. He 
hoped he had kept nobody waiting. 

"To be sure not," said Alvanly, "who the devil 
would wait for you ? " 

267 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

<7 " I would, all my life, and with all imaginable 
patience," I observed. 

" Ha ! ha ! " said Ward, growing pale, while he 
affected to be amused. 

" But, my excellent friend Dick," said Ward, " I 
must send back a note by my servant, who is waiting 
for it." 

" Why," said Dick, " the servants are going to serve 
the dinner immediately, and I should rather prefer 
your going into my dressing-room to write your note." 

" I thank you," said Ward, with much asperity, " 1 
thank you all the same ; but I prefer having the paper 
here, with your permission. With your permission, 
mind, Dick!" 

""You may ring, if you please," said Dick care- 
lessly, and then, I believe, retired for the express pur- 
pose of desiring his footman not to answer the bell. 
This I only surmise, from his remarking to me in an 
undertone afterwards, that Ward gave more trouble 
than all the rest of the party put together, and he 
was delighted that the footman did not attend his 
summons. 

Mr. Dick handed me down to dinner. Lord Hert- 
ford took care of Amy, Alvanly was ever Fanny's 
most obedient humble servant, and Ward held out 
his finger to Mrs. Armstrong ; because Amy was 
better provided for Luttrell was, as usual unless some 
one bored or offended him, the life and spirit of the 
whole party, when Ward would let him alone ; but 
he was often interrupted by that learned gentleman's 
bawling from the top to the bottom of a large table, 
his Latin hon mots, at which he himself, solus, laughed 
always most vociferously. He frequently addressed 
himself to our favourite Luttrell, not being so sure of 
any other man's Greek and Latin. 

" What a misfortune for you," said I to Luttrell, 
" that the little figure at the top of the table has faith 
in your classical knowledge," and then, addressing 
myself to Ward, " Friend," said I, " we, at this end 
of the table, have all forgotten our Latin." 
268 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

"Dick!" said Ward, whom I had put out of 
humour, " there would be no harm in ordering a few 
coals. I'm starved." 

" Why, really," answered Dick, " the fire cannot be 
better, nor will that grate hold any more coals." 

" That's your opinion, not mine ; " and Ward affected 
to laugh, as though he had said something witty. 

I praised the very unaffected character of Lord 
Robert Manners to Nugent, who sat next to me. 

"Ah!" squeaked out the reptile Ward, "stand 
up for Bob Manners, for 1 know he stands up for you." 

" Is that meant for a joke, or a matter of fact ? " 
asked I. 

" Fact ! Fact ! Bob, as your friend no doubt, stands 
up for you, whom he must so often hear abused." 

" What 1 a mighty member of the senate fighting 
me, a silly woman, with my own weapons, seriously, 
and in sober anger, as though I were one of the lords 
of the creation and a commoner ? Then, indeed, I 
must ask pardon of the honourable member, whom I 
must have sorely aggrieved. You say my little spit- 
fire, that Lord Robert often hears me abused. All I 
answer is, look you at the breadth of his shoulders, 
before you presume to join the hue-and-cry against 
me in his presence. You would not like a horsepond : 
riest-ce pas ? " 

" Keep them to it, keep up the war between them ; 
it is so amusing. Harriette is the only match for Ward 
I ever met with," whispered Luttrell to my neighbour, 
his half-brother, Nugent. 

"Does anybody mean to go to Elliston's mas- 
querade ? " asked Dick. 

" Certainly," said Mrs. Armstrong. " It is to be a 
most brilliant thing, and the stage will exhibit all the 
decorations of Aladdin's Lamp, and I know not what 
besides; no dominoes, and a most comfortable, 
excellent supper." 

"I dare not go," said Alvanly. "I am always 
afraid of getting into a row, at these sort of places 
and having to fight." 

269 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

"Apropos of fighting," said I. "Your lordship, 
if I remember, was formerly in the Guards, I think ? 
Why did you leave that regiment ? " 

" Why, I was afraid of being shot," said Alvanly, 
very quietly. 

" But were you not also afraid of being called a 
coward ? " I asked. 

"I was in two engagements, and distinguished 
myself in each," Alvanly replied. 

" How, pray ? " said the stiff' John Mills, of the 
Guards, whom, though I believe he had served in 
Spain with Alvanly, I did not think worth a place in 
my Memoirs. 

" I do not mean to say that 1 ever volunteered 
anything," said Alvanly, pulling up the collar of his 
shirt ; " but, at the same time, I never ran away, you 
know. They did not reward me for my services as I 
expected. However, I am quite contented to have 
retired on half-pay. God bless your soul," continued 
his lordship, addressing himself to me, " you have no 
idea what it is ! Come on, my brave fellows. This 
is fine fun, my lads. You are obliged to find courage 
for yourself and your men too ! I mentioned to two 
or three officers at the time of action, that, if it should 
please God to see me safe out of that, I would give 
the enemy leave to cut off my head, if I did not sell 
out of the army or retire on half-pay the moment I 
arrived in England. The fact is, I have had the same 
antipathy to the idea of fighting from a child, and I 
never should have gone into the Guards at all, if I 
had imagined they would have left London." 

" Alvanly, shall I have the pleasure of drinking 
wine with you ? " asked Lord Hertford, from the top 
of the table. 

Alvanly assented of course. 

" Madeira? " asked Dick, handing Alvanly the bottle. 

" No ; champagne, if you please. 1 can get madeira 
at home," said Alvanly. 

We women then entered the drawing-room, to 
which Mr. Dick conducted us himself. 
270 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Poor Julia scarcely spoke a single word the whole 
evening ; indeed we had the greatest difficulty in 
persuading her to be of our party. She declared she 
could not endure to meet Amy, who had been making 
love to Mildmay merely because Julia adored him. 
Mildmay had paid due attention to Amy's ogling, 
had basked in the sunshine of her smiles for nearly a 
fortnight, and then, just as she was growing tender, 
had cut her dead. Amy, seized with an unusual fit 
of frankness, showed me Sir Henry's last letter, in 
which he begged to be excused coming to her pour 
le moment : he was particularly engaged for the whole 
of next week. 

" Mon Dieu / r Mon Dieu ! " said I, after reading this 
very impertinent letter, addressed to a fine woman 
who had done him too much honour. "How can 
you all encourage this cold-blooded heartless creature ? 
Do pray let me write your answer directly, and you 
shall copy it. It will set poor Julia's mind at rest, 
and keep up, more or less, the dignity of the sex ! " 

" I wish you would," answered Amy, " for I hate 
him ; but, as to Julia, it's nonsense her sticking up 
for Mildmay, he only laughs at the idea." 

Julia began to shed tears at Amy's coarse remarks, 
and I wrote as follows, which Amy copied, and 
delivered into my hands to be forwarded to the gay 
baronet the next morning. 

"MY DEAR SIR HARRY, I have ten thousand 
apologies to make to you, for being the most careless 
creature on earth ! Your letter of this morning was 
brought to me just as I was writing to that angel 
Ponsonby ; and, before I could read the first line of 
your effusion, my servant brought me two more notes ; 
so, in my bustle and confusion, I am afraid yours 
must have been the piece of paper I took up to light 
my taper with ; for, though I desired my maid to 
make strict search after it before I went out, she 
informed me in the evening that it was not to be 
found. No matter, I give you credit for having said 

271 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

an infinity of soft things, and wish it were in my 
power de vous rendre les pareilles. Not that but I 
entertain a severe esteem for you ; to prove which, 
were I not about to leave town for Brighton, I should 
entreat you to continue your visits ; but I am so un- 
lucky as to have my time taken up entirely just now. 
On my return, I hope to be more fortunate, and if so, 
I shall certainly do myself the pleasure of sending 
you a card. In the meantime Sir Harry will, I hope, 
believe me, like all the rest of my sex, deeply im- 
pressed with his merits, 

" and most truly and faithfully his servant, 

SYDENHAM." 



Julia recovered her spirits as soon as this letter was 
in my possession, signed and sealed, for she knew 
Mildmay too well to imagine he would forgive any 
one who wounded his self-love. 

"You will be surprised to hear that I have left 
your sister Sophia at home," said Julia. 

We asked Julia about Lord Deerhurst ; and she 
told us that Sophia felt herself so neglected and un- 
comfortable, and disgusted with her lodging, that she 
had entreated Julia to take her as a boarder, and to 
which she had that morning consented. 

Amy asked Julia why she did not bring Sophia 
with her. 

" In the first place," answered Julia, " I have passed 
my word to your mother that Sophia shall not go 
out except to walk with my own children ; and, in the 
second she was not invited." 

The gentlemen joined us soon afterwards. 

The first thing Alvany did was to break one of 
Mr. Dick's looking-glasses, while playing some trick 
or other with a stick. 

Dick grew sulky and declared that, since the honour 
of his lordship's company was to be so expensive, he 
must decline it. 

Alvanly said he was really sorry ; but could not 
insult Mr. Dick by buying him another. 
272 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Dick assured him he was not touchy. 

" Oh, yes," said Alvanly, " you will give yourself a 
good character of course ; but 1 shall not impose upon 
your goodness by doing anything half so rude." 

As soon as we had taken our tea and coffee, we all 
went to the King's Theatre ; but before Lord Hert- 
ford parted with us, he invited the females of this party 
to dinner. 

We declared that we were going to Brighton and 
had no time. 

" Name your own day," said Lord Hertford ; " to- 
morrow if you please ; but come you must." 

" It shall be to-morrow, then," said Amy, replying 
for us all. 

" What a fine thing it is to be an elder sister," said 
I. I thought Amy could never have recovered her 
temper. 

Lord Hertford, before he left us, politely offered to 
send a carriage for my sisters. 

1 found the Duke of Leinster in my box. 

" I am glad you have no men with you," said His 
Grace, with something like agitation of manner ; " for 
I want to speak to you. Do you know, my friend, of 
whom 1 spoke to you, is come up from Oxford on 
purpose to try to get introduced. I know he must 
return to college to-night, and I am, I confess, rather 
anxious that he should be disappointed." 

Nonsense," said Julia. " Who is it pray ? " 

* The Marquis of Worcester," replied His Grace. 
Is he handsome ? " I inquired. 

5 Not a bit of it," said the duke. 

What is he like ? " Fanny asked. 

I do not know anybody he is like, upon my 
honour, unless it be his father. He is a long, thin, 
pale fellow, with straight hair." 

" You need not be alarmed," said I, " I shall not be 
presented to your friend if I can help it. I always 
tell everybody I know, not to bring men here without 
first coming to ask my permission." 

" I know you do," said Leinster ; " since this is the 
i s 273 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

answer Lord Worcester has received from several of 
your friends to whom he applied." 

" There he is ! " continued Leinster, leaning towards 
the pit. " Do not you observe a very tall young 
fellow in silk stockings, looking steadfastly up at this 
box. Upon my honour he won't wear trousers or 
curl his hair ; because he heard that you dislike it." 

" It is very flattering," said I, eagerly looking out 
for him with my opera-glass, an example which was 
followed by Julia and Fanny. 

The young marquis was at that time too bashful to 
stand the artillery of three pair of fine eyes at once, 
and turned away from our eager gaze ; but not till I 
had satisfied myself that he would not do for me one 
bit better than his uncle, Lord G. L. Gower : and, in 
the next five minutes, I had forgotten his existence. 

Lord Frederick Bentinck now came and asked me 
when I meant to keep my promise of accompanying 
him to VauxhalL 

" Oh, we shall never get to Brighton," said Fanny, 
who doted on donkey-riding. " Harriette will keep 
us in town all the summer, as she did last year." 

" Summer! " interposed George Brummell, entering 
in a furred great coat. " You do not mistake this for 
summer, do you ? A little more of your summer 
will just finish me," pulling up his fur collar. 

"Upon my honour, I think it very hot," said 
Leinster. "It must be hot, you know, because it is 
August." 

" I never know the difference, for my part," Fred 
Bentinck observed. " The only thing that ever makes 
me cold is putting on a great coat ; but then 1 have 
always a great deal to do, and that keeps me warm. 
Once for all madam, will you go to Vauxhall on 
Monday night ? If you will I will put off my sister 
and accompany you." 

I assented, in spite of everything Fanny and Julia 
could say to prevent me ; for Fred Bentinck always 
made me merry. 

" What is Lord Molyneux doing with Mrs. Fitzroy 
274 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Stanhope ? " said I, looking towards that lady's box, 
where she sat tete-a-tete with his lordship. 

" How fond you are of scandal ! " observed Fred 
Bentinck. 

" Oh Lord, no," answered I, " on the contrary, I 
admire her taste. Who would not cut the very best 
swaggering Stanhope for a Molyneux ? " 

" Where do you expect to go to, Harriette ? " said 
Bentinck, for at least the twentieth time since I had 
known him. 

" To Amy's to-night, to Lord Hertford's to-morrow, 
and to Vauxhall on Monday," I replied. 

" And then to Brighton, I hope,'' continued Fanny. 

" We must see Elliston's masquerade first," said I. 

" A very respectable exhibition, indeed," observed 
Bentinck. 

" Oh ! I never unmask, and nobody will find me 
out ; but I've a natural turn for masquerading, and go 
I must." 

King Allen put his long nose into the box, and 
his nose only. " Is Amy at home to-night ? " 

Fanny answered in the affirmative ; adding, " But 
she is in her own box. Why do not you go to her 
to inquire ? " 

" Lord Lowther and some nasty Russians are with 
her," answered Allen. 

" A ce soir, then," I said, kissing my hand to him, 
which was as much as to say, do not come in. He 
was kind enough to understand my hint 

Lord Molyneux shortly took his seat by my side, 
and I rated him about Mrs. Fitzroy. 

" Remember Monday," said Fred Bentinck, as he 
left the box to make room for Mr. Napier and Colonel 
Parker, followed by the young Lord William 
Russell. 

Lord Molyneux seemed to take pleasure in chatting 
with me, without desiring a nearer intimacy ; and I 
was always very glad to see and laugh with his lord- 
ship. When he left me, Lord William began to 
whisper and stammer out something about the folly 

275 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

he was guilty of in coming to me as he did, and 
encouraging hopes which he knew would end in dis- 
appointment. 

" You do not know any such thing," returned L 

" What have I," continued Lord William, " to 
recommend myself to your notice ? A poor little 
wretch without either fortune or wit." 

I told him that he was well-looking, high-bred, 
and high-born. I felt really desirous to encourage 
the most humble, little gentleman-like being I ever 
met with. 

Just as Parker and Napier had left the box, Lord 
Deerhurst entered it, accompanied by a tall young 
man, and Lord William then took his leave, from 
the mere dread of intruding. " I do not often intro- 
duce gentlemen to ladies," said his lordship, "and 
perhaps I am taking a liberty now; yet I hope you 
can have no objection to my making you known to 
the Marquis of Worcester." 

I bowed rather formally; because I had before 
desired Deerhurst not to bring people to me without 
my permission. However the young marquis blushed 
so deeply, and looked so humble, that it was im- 
possible to treat him with incivility; but, having 
taken one good look at my conquest, and thus con- 
vinced myself that I should never love him, I con- 
versed indifferently on common subjects, as people 
do who happen to meet in a stage-coach, where time 
present is all they have to care about. Deerhurst 
was lively and pleasant ; the marquis scarcely spoke ; 
but the lirtle he did find courage to utter, was cer- 
tainly said with good taste and in a gentlemanly 
manner. 

Leinster was infinitely bored and annoyed, though 
he tried to conceal it. 

" What do you think of him ? " asked Leinster, 
whispering in my ear. 

" I will tell you to-morrow," I replied ; and, the 
better to enable myself to do this, 1 examined the 
person of the young marquis for the second time. 
276 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

It promised to be very good, and his air and manners 
were distinguished ; but he was extremely pale and 
rather thin ; nevertheless, there was something fine 
and good about his countenance, though he was 
certainly not handsome. 

Deerhurst invited the Duke of Leinster to go into 
the pit with him. 

Leinster hesitated. 

I understood him. " Do not be afraid," said I, in 
his ear. " Of course, having already engaged you to 
take me to my carriage, I shall neither change my 
mind nor break my word." 

Leinster gratefully grasped my hand, but fixed his 
eyes on Worcester, still hesitating. Not that it was 
His Grace's nature to break his ducal heart for any 
woman, and still less perhaps for me ; but a man's 
schoolfellow pushing himself forwards, and trying to 
cut him out where he had formed high expectations, is 
always a bore, even to the coldest man alive. 

" Of course my sister Amy will be happy to see 
Lord Worcester to-night," said I aloud, in answer to 
what 1 read in Leinster's countenance. 

Lord Worcester bowed, and looked rather confused 
than pleased. 

" Do come, my lord," said Fanny, who liked what 
she had seen of his lordship extremely. 

To Leinster's joy and our astonishment, Lord 
Worcester said he must really decline my very polite 
offer, grateful as he felt for it. 

" Nonsense ! " exclaimed Deerhurst. " What a very 
odd fellow you are ! I really cannot make you out. 
1 give you my honour, Harriette," continued his lord- 
ship, "that, not an hour ago, he declared he would 
give half his existence to sit near you and talk to you 
for an hour, and now you invite him to pass the even- 
ing in your society, he appears to be frightened to 
death at the idea ! " 

" You are all alike ; a set of cruel wicked deceivers," 
said I, carelessly, being really indifferent as to the 
impression it made on Lord Worcester, who, in his 

277 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

eagerness to exculpate himself from this charge of 
caprice, blushed deeply and evinced considerable 
agitation. 

" No indeed, I beg, I do entreat that you will not, 
you must not imagine this. I have a particular reason 
for not going to your sister's ; but it would be imper- 
tinent in a stranger like me to take up your time by 
an explanation : only pray acquit me. Do not send 
me away so very unhappy ; for you must know, I am 
sure you must, that the indifference of which you 
accuse me would be impossible, quite impossible, to 
any man." 

" What is the matter with you, young gentleman ? " 
said I, looking at him with much curiosity, u and why 
do you lay such a stress on trifles light as air ? " 

" To you, perhaps," observed Worcester, trying to 
laugh, from a fear of seeming ridiculous. 

" There is a pretty race-horse little head for you 1 " 
said Deerhurst, touching my hair. 

" I never saw such beautiful hair," Worcester 
remarked timidly. 

" Put your fingers into it," said Deerhurst. " Har- 
riette does not mind how you tumble her hair 
about." 

" I should richly deserve to be turned out of the 
box were I to do anything so very impertinent," 
interrupted his lordship. 

" Oh, no," said I, leaning the back of my little head 
towards Worcester, " anybody may pull my hair 
about. I like it, and I am no prude." 

Worcester ventured to touch my hair in fear and 
trembling, and the touch seemed to affect him like 
electricity. Without vanity, and in very truth, let 
him deny it if he can, I never saw a boy or a man more 
madly, wildly, and romantically in love with any 
daughter of Eve in my whole life. 

" Come with me," said Deerhurst to Leinster. 

" Remember your promise," Leinster whispered to 
me, as he unwillingly followed his lordship. 

" May I," said Lord Worcester eagerly, as though 
278 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

he dreaded an interruption, " may I, on my return to 
town, venture to pay my respects ? " 

" Certainly," answered I, " if I am in town ; but we 
are going to Brighton." 

True love is ever thus respectful, and fearful to 
offend. Worcester, with much modesty, conversed 
on subjects unconnected with himself or his desires, 
apparently taking deep interest in my health, which, I 
assured him, had long been very delicate. 

Just before the curtain dropped, Worcester seemed 
again eager to say something on his refusal to accom- 
pany me to Amy's. 

" Leinster is coming to take you to your carriage, 
I know," said he, " and I wish " 

" What do you wish ? " 

" That you would permit me to explain something 
to you, arid promise not to call me a conceited cox- 
comb." 

"Yes! I'll answer for her," said Fanny, "so out 
with it, my lord. Why be afraid of that great black- 
eyed sister of mine, as if she were of so much conse- 
quence ? " 

"Well then," continued Worcester, blushing deeply, 
" Lord Deerhurst told me that your sister treated you 
unkindly, and that you never allowed your favourites 
to visit her. Upon my honour, I would rather never 
see you again, than pay my court to anybody who has 
behaved ill to you." 

Before I could reply Leinster came hurrying and 
bustling into the box as the curtain dropped. 

" You return to Oxford to-night, I believe ? " said 
His Grace to Worcester, who replied that he must 
start at six in the morning. 

1 advised him to take a few hours rest first. 

"That will be quite impossible," Worcester answered 
in a low voice. 

The young marquis's pale face certainly did grow 
paler, as he looked wistfully after Leinster, whose arm 
I had taken. 

First love is all powerful in the head and heart of 

279 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

such an ardent character as Worcester's ; and there 
really was an air of truth about him, which not a little 
affected me for the moment ; therefore, turning back 
to address him, after I had drawn my arm away 
from Leinster, " Perhaps," said I, in a low, laughing 
voice, " perhaps, Lord Worcester, it may be vain and 
silly in me to believe that you are disposed to like me ; 
but, as I do almost fancy so, 1 am come to wish you a 
good night, and to assure you that I shall remember 
your taking up my quarrels against my unkind 
sister, with the gratitude I always feel towards those 
who are charitable enough to think favourably of 
me." 

Worcester began to look too happy. 

" But do not mistake me," I continued, " for I am 
not one bit in love with you." 

Worcester looked humble again. 

" In fact," said I, laughing, " my love-days are 
over. I have loved nothing lately/' 

" Not the Duke of Leinster ? " inquired his lord- 
ship, whose anxiety to ascertain this had overcome 
his fears of seeming impertinent. 

" No, indeed," I rejoined, and Worcester's coun- 
tenance brightened, till he became almost handsome. 

Leinster approached us with a look of extreme 
impatience. 

" Good night, my lord," said I, waving my hand, 
as I joined His Grace. Worcester bowed low and 
hastened out of sight. 

" If Leinster were not my friend," said Worcester 
to a gentleman who afterwards repeated it to me, 
pointing to Leinster and myself, as we stood in the 
round room waiting for His Grace's carriage ; " if 
that young man were not my friend, I would make 
him walk over my dead body before he should take 
Harriette out of this house." 

Oh, this love ! this love ! 

Amy's rooms were not full. It was her last party 
for that season. There was nobody in town, so, faute 
de ndeux, since Mildmay had cut her, she was making 
280 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

up to a Mr. Boultby, a black, little, ugly dragoon, 
whom she declared was exactly to her taste. 

" Come to Brighton," said Amy to her hero. 

He assured her that, if his regiment had not been 
stationed there, he would have joined her, since he 
felt that he could not live out of her smiles. 

" How can you strive to make fools of people ? " 
said I. 

" What do you mean ? " inquired Amy fiercely, 

" Why, seriously, Mr. Boultby," continued 1, " take 
my word, she has no fancy for you." 

Mr. Boultby's vanity would not permit him to take 
my word, so I left him to the enjoyment of it. 

Parker and Fanny appeared to be very happy to- 
gether, and sincerely attached to each other. No 
husband could show more respect towards any 
wife. 

Leinster was very dull, though too proud to com- 
plain. 

" Confess," said I to His Grace, as soon as I could 
get him into one corner of the room," confess 
that you are annoyed and unhappy about Lord 
Worcester." 

" I do think," said Leinster, " though I do not 
pretend to have any claim on you whatever, that 
Worcester, as my friend, had no right to intrude him- 
self into your society to-night." 

" Never rnind, don't bore me with your jealousy ; I 
abhor it," said 1, " I must and will be free, as free as 
the air, to do whatever 1 like. I always told you so, 
and never professed to be in love with you. How- 
ever, I still like you as well as I like anybody else, 
and, as to Lord Worcester, what shall I see of him, 
while he is at Oxford, and I at Brighton, to which 
place I did not invite him." 

" I do not see why Worcester thought proper to 
blush as he did to-night, and pretend to be so over 
modest, while he was doing such a cool, impudent 
thing," muttered Leinster. 

" Dear me, how tiresome," said I, yawning. " I 

281 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

should almost have forgotten all about Lord Worces- 
ter by this time, if you had made yourself agreeable." 
The evening finished heavily for me. I was bored 
with Leinster, who never had anything on earth to 
recommend him to my notice, save that excellent 
temper, which I now saw ruffled for the first time 
since I had known him : and Amy, who, it must be 
acknowledged was in the habit of saying droll things, 
was this night wholly taken up and amused with that 
stupid, ugly Boultby ! I therefore returned early, 
and Leinster put me down at my own door. 



282 



CHAPTER XV 

THE next day I proposed to my new dame de com- 
pagnie, Miss Eliza Higgins, to dress herself quickly, 
in order to accompany me into the park. 

" How do you do ? how do you do ? " said Lord 
Fife, as he joined us near Cumberland Gate. " Who 
is your friend ? " he continued, appearing to eye Miss 
Higgins with looks of admiration, much to my aston- 
ishment. " Am I not to be introduced to your friend? " 

" Et pourquoi pas ? " said I, naming Miss Higgins, 
with whom he conversed, as though her acquaintance 
had been the thing on earth most devoutly to be 
wished. 

" What a funny little bonnet you have got on 1 " 
said his lordship to my companion, interrupting him- 
self in the middle of a long story from the North. 

After Lord Fife had left us, Miss Eliza Higgins 
could speak of nothing else. 

" Charming man, ma'am, the Earl of Fife 1 I have 
heard much of him ; but never had the honour to be 
presented to him before. That is a man now, a poor 
weak female would find it very difficult to resist. 
His Lordship is so condescending ! so polite ! " 

When we were tired of walking in the park, I drove 
to the house of a married sister of mine, whose name 
we will call Paragon, since she was the very paragon 
of mothers, having drawn up a new, patent system of 
education for her children, better than Jean Jacques 
Rousseau's, and unlike everybody's else. 

Her family consists of two boys and two girls. 
The eldest daughter was then nearly seven years of 

283 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

age : her son and heir had scarcely attained his fifth 
year. " They shall never go to school," said my sister 
Paragon, " nor will 1 suffer them to be left one instant 
to the care of nurses or servants, to learn bad grammar 
and worse morals. Neithex shall they be told of such 
things as thieves or murderers ; much less shall they 
hear anything about falsehood and deceit. They 
shall never obtain what they want by tears nor rude- 
ness after the age of two ; and it shall depend on the 
politeness and humility of their deportment, whether 
they have any dinner or not ; and nothing shall be 
called indecent which is natural, either in words or 
deeds. So much for the minds of my children ; arid, 
with regard to their bodily health, I shall make them 
swallow one of Anderson's Scot's Aperient Pills every 
night of their blessed lives ! et il riy aura rien a 
craindre ! " 

Sister Paragon was very pretty. She had the 
sweetest, most lovely eyes I ever beheld: and riot 
because they were large, or of the finest hazel colour ; 
I allude to their character and expression ; now flash- 
ing with indignation, now soft, and yet so bright that 
one might almost see one's own reflected in them. 
Paragon's little nose too was very pretty, even when 
red and frost-bitten ; and she had a beautiful mole on 
her clear brown cheek. She did not at all resemble 
either a paragon or a prude ; and yet 1 am the only one 
of all our family who am not afraid of her wit or her 
virtue. She married a gentleman of good family and 
connections, though poor ; and, when she did this, 
she almost broke the tender heart of the reverend 
Orange patriot, Sir Harcourt Lees, baronet, of Irish 
notoriety, who had often proposed to her on his knees, 
and on his seat, and with his whole heart ! " He 
was a good little fellow," Paragon would often say, 
" but his face was so like a knocker ! " 

Cest bien dommage ! 

Paragon's husband was not in London when I called 
on her. She was sitting with four of the most lovely 
children I ever beheld at one time. Her eldest 
284 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

daughter was almost as beautiful as our mother, 
whose equal I never saw nor shall see on earth. She 
had her mother's eye, her grandmother's nose, and her 
nice little aunt Harriette's curly brown hair. Then 
she was so graceful, and spoke such good French ! 

" Mary ! " said Paragon to her daughter, as soon as 
she had shaken hands with me, and inquired after my 
health, "Mary, come away from the window directly. 
Fie ! for shame ! Do not you see those two men at 
the corner of the street are tipsy ? Is that a proper 
sight to attract a young's lady's attention ? " 

Little Mary was in high spirits. She talked of love ! 
and said she knew, very well, that everybody fell in 
love, and that she was in love, too, herself. 

" With whom, pray ? " asked Paragon. 

"With my brother John," answered little Mary; 
and next she asked her mother, when she might marry 
him, declaring that she could not wait much longer. 

" To bed ! to bed ! " said mamma. " You must all 
go to bed directly." 

" Already ? " I asked. " Why it is not six o'clock 
yet." 

" No matter. I am tired to death of them, and 
they are always asleep before seven." 

In less than five minutes the children were all 
running about stark naked as they were born, laughing, 
romping, and playing with each other. Little Sophia, 
who was not yet two years of age, did nothing but 
run after her beautiful brother Henry, a dear, little, 
laughing boy, who was about to celebrate his fourth 
birthday. Little Sophia, bred in the school of nature, 
handled her brother rather oddly, I thought. 

Paragon then put them to bed, gave them a 
Scotchman, in the shape of a pill, and all was still as 
the grave ! 

" Good night, my dear Paragon," said I. " Lord 
Hertford dines at eight, and I shall not be ready." 

" I saw you at the opera, last night," Paragon 
remarked, " and truly it was an unfair monopoly, to 
keep two such fine young men as Lord Worcester 

285 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

and the Duke of Leinster to yourself. I admire 
the latter of all things ; so you may send Leinster to 
me, if you prefer Lord Worcester." 

" How wicked ! " said I. " If ever you, with such 
a beautiful young family, were to go astray, you must 
despair of forgiveness." 

" Very fine talking," answered Paragon. " So you 
would score off your own sins, by a little cut-and- 
dried advice which costs you nothing." 

Her son and heir interrupted her at this moment, 
by such hard breathing as almost amounted to a 
snore. 

" That boy has caught cold ! " observed mamma, 
and she awoke him to administer an extra Scotch- 
man. 

" Good-bye, good-bye," said I, running downstairs ; 
and when I got home, I had only ten minutes left 
pour faire ma toilette. As to Miss Eliza Higgins, 
Lord Fife's compliments had so subdued her, that 
she could not afford me the least assistance. 

" A charming man, the Earl of Fife ! " she was 
repeating, for at least the fiftieth time, when a note 
was put into my hand bearing the noble earl's arms, 
and my footman at that moment informed me that 
my carriage was at the door. 

" Any answer for Lord Fife, ma'am ? " asked my 
servant. 

I hastily read the note, which contained his lord- 
ship's request to pass the evening with me and my 
lovely companion. I did not show this to Miss 
Higgins on that occasion, because it seemed so very 
outre and unhoped for that I feared it might from the 
mere surprise have caused sudden death. 

" My compliments only," said I ; " tell his lordship 
I am very sorry, but I cannot write, because I am 
this instant getting into my carriage to dine with 
Lord Hertford : " and so saying I followed my servant 
downstairs. 

Lord Hertford had not invited one person to meet 
us ; but his excellent dinner, good wine, and very 
286 




A VIEW of Y \RMOl TIL 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

intelligent conversation, kept us alive till a very late 
hour, I mean no compliment to Lord Hertford, for 
he has acted very rudely to me of late ; but he is a man 
possessing more general knowledge than any one I 
know. His lordship appears to be au fait on every 
subject one can possibly imagine. Talk to him of 
drawing or horse-riding ; painting or cock-fighting ; 
rhyming, cooking or fencing ; profligacy or morals ; 
religion of whatever creed ; languages living or dead ; 
claret or burgundy ; champagne or black-strap ; 
furnishing houses or riding hobbies ; the flavour of 
venison or breeding poll-parrots ; and you might 
swear that he had served his apprenticeship to every 
one of them. 

After dinner he showed us miniatures by the most 
celebrated artists, of at least half a hundred lovely 
women, black, brown, fair, and even carroty, for the 
amateur's sympathetic bonne louche. These were all 
beautifully executed : and no one with any knowledge 
of painting could hear him expatiate on their various 
merits, without feeling that he was qualified to preside 
at the Royal Academy itself ! The light, the shade, 
the harmony of colours, the vice of English painters, 
the striking characters of Dutch artists Mafoi! 
No such thing as foisting sham Vandykes, or copies 
from Rubens, on Lord Hertford, as I believe is done, 
or as I am sure might be done, on the Duke of 
Devonshire : and yet His Grace, I rather fancy, must 
be in the habit of sending advertisements to the news- 
papers relative to his taste in vcrtu and love of the arts. 
If not, how comes it that everybody hears of Devon- 
shire pictures of his own choosing, while Lord Hert- 
ford's most correct judgment never graces those 
diurnal columns. His lordship does not buy them, 
either by so much a hundred or so much a foot ; but 
if the town did not talk about Devonshire's pictures, 
Devonshire's fortune, and Devonshire's parties, he 
would be a blank in the creation. Once indeed he was 
slandered with bastardy ; but that passed off quietly, 
as it ought to do ; for who would have made it their 

287 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

pastime to beget such a lump of unintelligible matter. 
Though surely that's enough for a duke, were it even 
a Wellington. Not that a man is to blame for being 
stupid, be he duke or tinker ; but then Devonshire 
is so incorrigibly affected and stingy withal 1 I 
remember his calling on me and pretending to make 
love to me ; and, with an air of condescension and 
protection, asking me in what way he could serve me. 
For my part I am always inclined to judge of others 
by my own heart ; I therefore took him at his word, 
believing that a man of such princely fortune would 
not, unasked, proffer his services to anybody to whom 
he was not disposed to send a few hundreds when they 
should require it. Being some time afterwards in 
such a predicament, and having promised to apply to 
him, I sent to him for a hundred guineas. His Grace 
begged to be excused sending so large a sum, at the 
same time assuring me that a part of it was at my 
service. 

Oh, what a fine thing is the patronage of mighty 
dukes ! 

Apropos. I must not be ungrateful. The most 
noble, I ought to say the most gracious, the Duke of 
Devonshire once sent me two presents ! The one, in 
a parcel, wrapped up in fine paper and sealed with the 
Devonshire arms. 

" A parcel, madam ! " said my footman, " and the 
Duke of Devonshire's servant waits while you 
acknowledge the receipt of it." 

The parcel contained a very ugly, old, red pocket- 
handkerchief ! His Grace, in the note which accom- 
panied this most magnificent donation, acknowledged 
that it was hideous ; but then, he assured me, it was 
the self-same which he had worn on his breast when 
he made it serve for an under-waistcoat, on the occa- 
sion of his visit to me the day before. This however 
was not all. In the warmth of his heart he sent me a 
ring too ! I think it must have been bought at Lord 
Deerhurst's jewellers, and yet perhaps it was gold, 
instead of brass ; but such a mere wire, that it could 
288 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

not weigh a shilling's-worth. Still, had it been of 
brass, and the gift of a friend who loved me, I should 
have worn it as long as it had lasted ; but, being that 
of the Duke of Devonshire, who cared nothing about 
me, I sent it him back, to punish his vanity, in sup- 
posing that trifles light as air could be prized by me, 
because they came from him. As to his ugly, old, 
red pocket-handkerchief, I gave it to my footman, 
and told the donor that I had done so. 

But, to proceed. 

Lord Hertford showed us a vast collection of gold 
and silver coins, portraits, drawings, curious snuff- 
boxes and watches. He had long been desirous that 
Amy, Fanny, and myself should sit to Lawrence, for 
a large family-picture, to be placed in his collection. 

Though the tea and coffee, like our dinner, were 
exquisite, Hertford made a good-natured complaint 
to his French Commander-in-chief about the cream. 

" Really," said his lordship, addressing us in English, 
" for a man who keeps a cow, it is a great shame to be 
served with such bad cream 1 " 

" I knew not," said I, " that you were the man who 
kept a cow. Pray where is she ? " 

"In Hyde Park," he replied, "just opposite my 
windows." 

Lord Hertford then proposed to show us a small 
detached building, which he had taken pains to fit up 
in a very luxurious style of elegance. A small, low 
gate, of which he always kept the key, opened into 
Park Lane, and a little, narrow flight of stairs, covered 
with crimson cloth, conducted to this retirement. It 
consisted of a dressing-room, a small sitting-room, and 
a bed-chamber. Over the elegant French bed was a 
fine picture of a sleeping Venus. There were a great 
many other pictures, and their subjects, though cer- 
tainly warm and voluptuous, were yet too classical 
and graceful to merit the appellation of indecent. He 
directed our attention to the convenience of opening 
the door himself to any fair lady who would honour 
him with a visit incognita, after his servants should have 

i T 289 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

prepared a most delicious supper and retired to rest. 
He told us many curious anecdotes of the advantage 
he derived from his character for discretion. 

" I never tell of any woman. No power on 6arth 
should induce me to name a single female, worthy to 
be called woman, by whom I have been favoured. 
In the first place ; because I am not tired of variety 
and wish to succeed again : in the second, I think it 
dishonourable." 

He told us a story of a lady of family, well known 
in the fashionable world, whose intrigue with a young 
dragoon he had discovered by the merest and most 
unlooked-for accident. " I accused her of the fact," 
continued his lordship, " and refused to promise 
secrecy till she had made me as happy as she had 
made the young dragoon." 

" Was this honourable ? " I asked. 

" Perhaps not," answered Hertford ; " but I could 
not help it." 

We did not leave Lord Hertford till near two 
o'clock, when he kindly set us all down himself in 
his own carriage. 

The next morning, before I had finished my break- 
fast, a great, big, stupid Irishman was announced, by 
name Dominick Brown, with whom I had a slight 
acquaintance. He brought with him, for the pur- 
pose of being presented to me, the Marquis of Sligo. 
They sat talking on indifferent subjects for about an 
hour, and then drove off in his lordship's curricle. 
Next came a note from Lord Fife, requesting per- 
mission to drink tea with me and my charming friend. 
" Who would have thought it ? " said I to myself, 
laughing. " Here am I playing second fiddle to Miss 
Eliza Higgins for the amusement of her most charm- 
ing man, the Earl of Fife 1 " I wrote on the back 
of his note : 

" Going to Vauxhall ; but you may come to-morrow 
evening at nine." 

1 thought that Miss Eliza Higgins would have 
290 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

fainted when I told her that Lord Fife was coming 
to us. 

" Oh dear, ma'am, what would you advise me to 
wear ? If you would not think it a liberty, and would 
lend me the pattern of your sweet blue cap, I would 
sit up all night to complete one like it." 

" All this energy about drinking tea with a rake of 
a Scotchman, whom you know would not marry an 
angel, and pretend to tell me that you are unegrande 
vertu ? " said I. 

"Certainly," answered Miss Eliza Higgins, red- 
dening. 

" Fiddlestick ! " was my sublime' ejaculation. 

Miss Eliza Higgins burst into tears. 

" Nay 5 " I continued, " this fit of heroics to me is 
ridiculous. I ask nothing of you but plain dealing. 
The fact is this, I am not curious but frank. Lord 
Fife wants to make your acquaintance, and it is not 
my wish to spoil any woman's preferment in what- 
ever line of life, whether good or bad : so, guessing 
from all the raptures you have expressed at the idea 
of this rake's attachment, that the governess of the 
young countess Palmella is no better than she should 
be, I have agreed to receive his lordship ; but, since 
these tears of virtuous indignation have convinced me 
of the injustice I did you, heaven forbid that I should 
be the means of bringing Lord Fife and a vestal 
together, for fear of consequences ! " I then quietly 
opened my writing-desk and began framing an excuse 
to his lordship. 

" Surely you are not putting off the Earl of Fife ? " 
said Miss Eliza Higgins, in breathless agitation. 

" I think it wrong to introduce such a gay man to 
an innocent woman," was my answer. 

Miss Higgins entreated and begged in vain. 

" Well then," said Miss Higgins, " I confess that I 
OI1 ce " 

" Once what ? " I asked. 

" I had a slip a yes a slip I " And she held her 
handkerchief to her eyes. 

291 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" What do you call a slip ? Do you mean a petti- 
coat or an intrigue ! " 

" Oh, fie ! fie 1 " said Miss Eliza Higgins. " Intrigue 
is such a shocking word, and conveys a more deter- 
mined idea of loose morals than a mere accidental 
slip." 

I still persisted in sending the excuse, declaring 
that, since hers had been only an accidental slip, she 
might recover it. 

" Oh, dear ! Oh, dear ! " said Miss Higgins, as my 
hand was extended to the bell, " what poor weak 
creatures we are ! I quite forgot the General ! " 

" General who ? " 

" Why, General, but you will be secret ? " 

" As the grave, of course." 

" Did you ever hear of General Mackenzie ? " said 
Miss Eliza Higgins, spreading her hand across her 
forehead, 

" He was Fred Lamb's General in Yorkshire ? " I 
answered. 

" The same, madam, a fascinating man I and this is 
my excuse.'* 

" True," said I, " and I remember all the servant 
maids and Yorkshire milkwomen confessed his 
power." 

" Most true ! " said Miss Eliza Higgins, with a 
deep sigh. 

" What then, you have forgotten the Earl of Fife 
already ? " 

" Oh, his lordship is quite another thing," said Miss 
Higgins, brightening. 

" And another thing is what you wish for ? " 

" Oh fie, ma'am I indeed you are too severe. These 
little accidents do and must happen, from mere 
inexperience and the weakness of our nature. I know 
several women, who have made most excellent wives 
after a slip or two, which I assure you madam often 
serves to fortify our virtue afterwards." 

" Well, then," said I, resuming my pen, " lest the 
gay Lord Fife should break through the formidable 
292 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

bulwark of virtue which has been already fortified by 
two intrigues, I shall most positively send him an 



excuse." 



" I entreat, I implore, ma'am, do not refuse my first 
request, Who knows what may turn up ? " In short 
never was Brougham himself more eloquent I Not 
even on that memorable day when he was employed 
by Lord Charles Bentinck to show just cause why 
Lady Abdy ought to have cuckolded Sir William as 
she did. She ultimately prevailed ; and all-conquering 
Fife was expected with rapture. 

Before dinner I went to call on Julia, by whom I 
had been sent for. Extreme anxiety had brought on 
sifausse couche ; but Julia, being as well as could be 
expected, hoped still to be able to join us at Brighton, 
if not to accompany us there. My sister Sophia was 
sitting by her bedside, looking very pretty, and much 
happier than when she was with Lord Deerhurst 

Fanny called on Julia, whose house she had changed 
for one in Hertford-street, Mayfair, on her acquaint- 
ance with Colonel Parker, whose name at his particular 
request she had now taken. 

" My dear Fanny," said I, " what am I to do with 
your boy George ? We shall never make a scholar 
of him, and he declares that he will not be a sailor." 

" Flog him ! Flog him 1 " said Amy, who overheard 
what I was saying,as she entered the room accompanied 
by a man in powder. " I flog my boy Campbell every 
hour in the day." 

I never saw such a man in all my life as her powdered 
swain. " I too am for flogging," said he, " since, such 
as you see me here before you, I am become by mere 
dint of birch." 

" Dieu nous en preserve ! " said I, hurrying into my 
carriage. Having reached home too early for dinner, 
I sat down to consider the plan of a book in the style 
of the Spectator, a kind of picnic, where every wise- 
acre might contribute his mite of knowledge at so 
much a head, provided he and she would sign their 
real names to the paper. 

293 



MEMOIRS OF HARR1ETTE WILSON 

Having imagined myself to be a wild lad, like my 
young scamp of a nephew, addressing a second 
Rambler or Spectator, whom 1 ventured to name 
Momus, I addressed as follows : 



MOMUS, I am one of those unfortunate 
victims whose hard fate was decided before I was 
born, and bon grd, mal gre, I must become a prodigy 
of learning. Now, Mr. Momus, I have to inform you 
that, notwithstanding I love my parents above all the 
world, yet I abhor and detest everything in the way 
of study. Floggings, rewards, private tutors and 
public schools, have all been tried in vain ; and, 
though I am at fifteen becoming somewhat hardened 
against my father's harsh sarcasms on my stupidity, 
yet fain would I exert myself to dry up the tears my 
poor mother often sheds, for the disappointment of 
her sanguine wishes on my account ; but for the 
strong conviction I feel that it is as impossible to 
acquire a taste for study, as to benefit by a forced 
application to books. 

" < Learn, oh youth,' says Zimmerman, one of my 
tutor's favourite authors, ' learn, oh young man 1 that 
nothing will so easily subdue your passion for pleasure 
as an increasing emulation in great and virtuous 
actions, a hatred to idleness and frivolity, the study 
of the sciences, and that high and dignified spirit, 
which looks with disdain, on everything that is vile 
and contemptible.' 

" All very fine old boy, and clear as the nose in 
your face. A hatred of idleness, Mr. Zimmerman, is 
a love of industry ; but how is this love and this hatred 
to be acquired ? * Voila^ said a French matron to 
Monsieur le Due de - , at Paris, throwing open the 
doors of an elegant apartment, ' Voila la ckambre ou 
ton ' . . . ' MaiSy oil est la chambre ou Ton ? ' said the 
duke. 

" ' Try solitude,' says Zimmerman 

" My father has tried that too, and it failed but 
294 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

then, Zimmerman continues, ' for solitude to produce 
these happy effects it is not sufficient to be continually 
gazing out of a window with a vacant mind, nor 
gravely walking up and down your study, in a ragged 
robe de chambre and worn-out slippers. The soul 
must feel an eager desire to roam at large/ 

" Now, Mr. Zimmerman, as far as regards a new 
pair of slippers and a clean dressing-gown, your advice 
has been duly attended to ; but my mind is not the 
less vacant, whether I gaze out of window, walk, or 
sit down ; therefore, Mr. Momus, I now entreat you 
to favour me with your candid opinion, whether a 
fool can be teased into a genius, or a genius into a 
fool ? It strikes me, on the contrary, that, under 
every imaginable disadvantage, a man will contrive 
to improve himself where the taste for study be 
genuine, and, where it does not exist, compulsion 
will but add disgust to what was before only indiffer- 
ence. 

" My tutor read to me this morning, an anecdote 
of Petrarch, the celebrated Italian poet. One of 
Petrarch's friends, the Bishop of Cavaillon, being 
alarmed lest the intense application with which he 
studied might totally ruin a constitution already 
much impaired, requested of him one day the key of 
his library. Petrarch immediately gave it him, and 
the good bishop instantly locking up his books and 
writings, said, ' Petrarch, I hereby interdict you from 
the use of pen, ink, and paper, for the space of ten 
days.' The sentence was severe ; but the offender 
suppressed his feelings and submitted to his fate. 
The first day of his exile from his favourite pursuits 
was tedious, the second accompanied with incessant 
headache, and the third brought on symptoms of an 
approaching fever, < Sir/ said I, interrupting my 
tutor, ' my symptoms of fever are also coming on : 
everybody to their vocation, you must allow me to 
take a ride/ Farewell, Mr. Momus, I wait im- 
patiently for your good advice, which I do not feel 

295 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

much afraid of; because you are neither a grey-beard 
nor a scholar. 

" I remain, your obedient servant, 
" HARRY HAIEBRAIN." 



ANSWER 

" Though I am neither a grey-beard nor a scholar, 
my young correspondent will not be a jot the better 
pleased with me when I inform him that I would 
recommend his being deprived both of his horse 
and his liberty, and throw him altogether on the 
resources of his own active mind for his whole and 
sole amusement, amongst books and grey-beards, 
where he might either study or look on, as he pleased ; 
at the same time, I quite agree with my correspondent 
as to the folly of labouring to extract blood from a 
stone, although this, judging from the spirit of his 
letter, is very far from a case in point." 

It was now dinner-time, so I resolved to dress for 
Vauxhall after that was over. 

" I wonder," said Miss Eliza Higgins, as she 
assisted at my toilette, " I wonder if the Earl of Fife 
will be at Vauxhall ? What a bore this little green 
satin gipsy-hat is, and what a magnificent plume of 
feathers ! How divinely they fall over your shoul- 
ders I What a heavenly taste Madame le Brun 
has!" 

Miss Eliza Higgins, as it will be perceived, doted 
on superlatives. 

Lord Frederick Bentinck came for me before I was 
half ready. 

" It's quite a bore 1 you always keep me waiting," 
said his lordship, when I came downstairs. " I can- 
not amuse myself in the least in this room, for 1 dare 
not open any one of your books, being always afraid 
of hitting upon something indecent or immoral." 

' Come," said I, " we shall be late, if you stand 
prosing there." 
296 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETT E WILSON 

" I am thinking," said Frederick Bentinck, without 
stirring. 

" You can think/' I interrupted him, " as we go 
along." I took hold of his hand, and pulled him 
towards the door. 

"Stop a minute," continued his lordship, "and 
attend to what I say. 1 risk a great deal, in going out 
with a woman like you." 

" What do you mean by a woman like me ? " 

" Why a woman a woman in short, and to 
speak plainly, of your loose morals 1 " 

" You blockhead ! " said I, running downstairs, 
and having determined in my own mind to be even 
with him. 

The gardens were crowded to excess. 

The late Marquess of Londonderry flattered my 
vanity, and made me prouder than ever my conquest 
of Lord Worcester could do, by merely looking at 
me. He certainly looked a great deal more than 
perhaps his lady might have thought civil. He struck 
me, particularly on that evening, as one of the most 
interesting looking men I had ever seen. At first 
Lord Frederick seemed rather timid, in regard to 
my loose morals and my striking elegant dress ; but, 
observing that I excited some little admiration and 
that his sister, as he told me, looked at me as if she 
had been much surprised and pleased with me, he 
now grew proud of having me on his arm and pressed 
forward into the crowd ; but I constantly tugged at 
his arm till I got into the most retired walks. 

" What are you afraid of?" said Lord Frederick. 

" Why, not of your loose morals : but the fact is, I, 
who am accustomed to go about with the chosen 
Apollos of the age, shall get terribly laughed at for 
being at Vauxhall with such a quiz as you. Not that 
I doubt your being a very excellent sort of man." 

Fred Bentinck laughed with perfect good-humour. 
He had no vanity, arid was so fond of me that I was 
welcome to laugh at him, and, provided he saw me 
amused, he was happy. 

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MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" I could listen while Harriette talked, though it 
were for a year together," said Lord Frederick one 
day to Julia, when I was not present. Indeed he 
made it a point never to say anything civil to me ; 
but all his actions proved his friendship and regard 
for me. 

At four o'clock in the morning I found Miss Eliza 
Higgins busy about the new cap which was to kill 
the Thane. 

''Was the Earl of Fife in the gardens ? " she in- 
quired, the moment I entered my dressing-room. 

The next evening, behold myself and Miss Higgins 
seated on the sofa before our tea-table, in expectation 
of Lord Fife. Miss Higgins's new cap would have 
improved her beauty, had she not diminished its 
lustre by sitting up all night to finish it ; but her fine 
hair, which was her solitary charm, was suffered to 
flow over her neck and shoulders in graceful, childish 
negligence. As for me, the part of second fiddle 
being altogether new to me, I took the liberty of 
appearing in my morning dress. Nine was the hour 
named by Lord Fife, and Miss Higgins had taken out 
her old-iashioned French watch at least twenty times 
since she entered the drawing-room, when the house- 
clock struck that wished-for and lagging hour. 

" Is his lordship punctual generally speaking, pray, 
ma'am ?" 

" Quite the reverse, 1 believe," said I, half asleep. 

" You have a good heart, I know, ma'am, and we 
females ought naturally to assist each other in all our 
little peccadillos," remarked my companion. 

"Well?" 

" Why, ma'am, I am going to ask your advice, who 
are better acquainted with his lordship's tastes than 
I am. I was thinking now, that this little netting- 
box is pretty and lady-like I Shall I be netting a 
purse, or will it have a better effect to put on my 
gloves and be doing nothing ? " 

Before I could answer this deep question my foot- 
man entered the room with a letter, sealed with a 
298 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

large coronet, and told me that a servant waited 
below for an answer. 

" I will ring when it is ready, James," said I, open- 
ing the letter. 

" It is an excuse from the Earl of Fife ! " said 
Miss Eliza Higgins, growing whiter than her pearl 
powder. 

Indignation kept me silent after reading the follow- 
ing impertinent letter from the Marquis of Sligo, to 
whom I had only been presented the day before. 

" MY DEAE Miss WILSON, Will you be so con- 
descending as to allow me to pass this evening alone 
with you after Lord Lansdowne's party ? 

" SLIGO." 

I had not been so enraged for several years! I 
rang my bell with such violence that I frightened 
Miss Eliza Higgins out of the very little wit she 
possessed. 

" Who waits ? " said I to James. 

" A servant in livery," was the answer. 

" Send him up to me." 

A well-bred servant, in a cocked hat and dashing 
livery entered my room, with many bows. 

" Here is some mistake," said I, presenting him the 
unsealed and unfolded letter of Lord Sligo. " This 
letter could not be meant for me, to whom his lordship 
was only presented yesterday. Take it back, young 
man, and say from me, that I request he will be careful 
how he misdirects his letters in future ; an accident 
which is no doubt caused by his writing after dinner." 

The man bowed low, and took away the open com- 
munication with him. 

" The earl may yet arrive then ? " observed Miss 
Eliza Higgins, recovered herself. 

A loud knock at the door now put the matter 
almost beyond a doubt, and, in another minute, in 
walked the redoubtable Earl of Fife, in a curious 
black and tan broad striped satin waistcoat, which was 
ornamented with a large gold chain. His watch was 

299 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

very gay, as were his numerous seals, at least twenty 
in number. " Surely," thought I, as I threw a hasty 
glance at Miss Eliza Higgins's long, narrow, ill-shaped 
forehead, brilliant with agitation and pearl-powder, 
" surely the man must be purblind or it may be his 
eyes were filled with dust on Sunday, when we met 
him in the park." However, to my astonishment, his 
lordship was all rapture, and did nothing but ogle my 
fair dame de compagnie, as though she had been really 
fair. 

As to Miss Eliza Higgins, it had been previously 
settled and agreed on between us that modesty was to 
be the order of the day. 

" I am not so vain as to fancy myself altogether 
handsomer than you are, madame," said the humble 
Miss Eliza to me, " and yet it is clear that the Earl 
of Fife prefers me ; I therefore conceive that I may 
have appeared to him more timid and modest ; there- 
fore it will be better to keep up that character : do not 
you agree with me, ma'am ? " 

" Certainly," said I. 

Miss Eliza Higgins kept up the farce to excess ; 
scarcely venturing to raise her eyes from the ground, 
or utter a single syllable, beyond " yes," or " no, my 
lord," and, that in a low whisper. She did indeed 
once venture to speak pathetically about her grand- 
mamma and her dear grandpapa. Lord Fife declared 
to me she was an amiable creature, and he presumed 
to place a ring of some value on her finger, on which 
occasion Miss Eliza Higgins appeared to be growing 
rather nervous. He did not take his leave until he 
had obtained her permission to write to her. 

" Miss Eliza Higgins," said I, as soon as we were 
left alone again, which was not till after midnight, 
"my good Miss Eliza Higgins, this atmosphere, as 
you expected, has proved favourable to your wishes. 
It has done more than your six seasons at Bath. It 
has, in short, brought a noble earl to your feet. Je 
vous en fait mes compliments. We will now if you please 
say adieu. Make any use you please of your conquest, 
300 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

and accept my thanks for having been so truly 
ridiculous." 

Miss Eliza bridled, muttered something about our 
sex's envy, and declared that she had proposed leaving 
me herself. 

" Agreed then," said I, extending my hand to shake 
hands. " I promise never to say anything but good 
of you to Lord Fife ; at least not till he is quite tired 
of you." 

Miss Eliza Higgins appeared satisfied and wished 
me a good night. 

" You will forward any letters that may arrive from 
the Earl of Fife ? " said she, returning. 

" Certainly." 

" Why then, I propose going to my grandmamma's 
to-morrow." 

" De tout mon cceur" I replied, and we parted. 



301 



CHAPTER XVI 

HALF the world was at Elliston's masquerade, given 
at his place, as he calls the Theatre Royal, Drury- 
lane ; therefore all I shall say about it is, that I never 
saw anything of the kind better conducted and I wish 
he would give another in honour of my arrival the 
moment I go to London. 

During supper, somebody recognised Elliston as he 
passed through the room ; and he was immediately 
hailed with three cheers. 

" Ladies and gentlemen," said Elliston, who was as 
tipsy as usual, or rather more so perhaps, " Ladies 
and gentlemen, 1 did not expect to have been observed 
in passing through the crowd. I am very grateful, gen- 
tlemen, very happy, gentlemen, quite overjoyed, 
gentlemen, that any efforts of mine to please and 
amuse you have been crowned with success " 

At this critical moment, somebody broke some 
dishes and upset a bottle of champagne. 

" Easy ! easy ! quiet quiet there pray ! pray ! " 
said Elliston, addressing them by way of parenthesis. 

He then continued his speech, " Yes, gentlemen, 
you shall have more masquerades ! And what's more, 
ladies and gentlemen " 

Elliston's lame speech by this time had excited some 
laughter. 

"I never knew him quite so bad as this," said a 
gentleman on my left. 

" As I was saying, gentlemen," Elliston proceeded, 
" I mean, my kind friends, it has ever been my ambition 
to give you pleasure, and, gentlemen, masquerades 
802 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

are pleasant, merry, spirited things, particularly when 
the occasion is, like this, to celebrate the birthday of 
our august oh 1 gentlemen and ladies, apropos, I had 
forgotten, but 1 now, though last not least, beg to 
propose a toast, in which every one of you will join 
me in your heart of hearts ! " 

Elliston filled a bumper, and drank " His 
Majesty ! " 

We were all stunned with the loud cheers, three 
times three repeated, which followed. He then 
passed round the tables, and stopped to speak to 
several of his friends, one of whom drank off one 
bottle of champagne with him, and then called for 
another. 

"No more no more," said Elliston. 

" Why man, one would think you were Cardinal 
Wolsey." 

In about a fortnight after the Opera had elosed we 
all arrived at Brighton. 

Leinster gave way to his feelings, on the day I left 
town, by putting more wine into his glass than usual. 

"Only say you like me better than Worcester," 
said His Grace, " and I shall go to Ireland in some 
comfort." 

" I have forgotten Lord Worcester," said i. 

" And you will be glad to see me on my return 
then ? " asked Leinster. 

" Certainly," I answered, " and particularly if you 
will leave off playing the hundred and fourth psalm 
on the big fiddle. I really am tired of it." 

Leinster proposed giving me Rule Britannia on my 
arrival, and promised everything I could wish. 

Fred Bentinck rode by the side of my carriage for 
the first ten miles. He offered to drive me down all 
the way with his own horses ; but on certain conditions, 
which I declined. 

" Well 1 " said Frederick, in his loud, odd voice, as 
he took leave of me, at The Cock at Sutton, " well, I 
really do hope you will soon come back. I don't, as 
you know, make speeches or pretend to be in love 

308 



MEMOIRS OF HARRJETTE WILSON 

with you. I might have been perhaps ; but, the fact 
is, you are a loose woman rather, and you know I 
hate anything immoral. However, you may believe 
me when I say, that I am sorry you are leaving 
London." 

" And what becomes of you ? " I asked. " Do you 
mean to remain all your life in town ? " 

" Oh ! I have too a great deal to do, and my busi- 
ness, you know, is at the Horse Guards." 

" God bless you, Frederick Bentinck," said I, as 
my carriage was driving off. " Portez vous bien, 
although you certainly are enough to make me die of 
laughter." 

" And do," said his lordship, with his half laughing, 
half cross, but very odd countenance, " pray do con- 
duct yourself with some small degree of propriety at 
Brighton : and take care of your health. I have, by 
this day's post, written to my friend Doctor Bankhead 
about you. I think him clever ; and I know he will 
do what he can to be of service to any favourite of 
mine." 

We had already hired a good house on the Marine 
Parade. Amy's admirer, Boultby, was one of our 
first visitors, and then Lords Hertford and Lowther, 
who were both on a visit at the pavilion. For three 
whole days Amy sickened us by the tenderness of her 
flirtation with Boultby, who sat lounging on her sofa 
as though he had been a first-rate man. At last Amy 
grew tired of him all at once. 

" Get up," said she, rudely pushing her inamorato 
off the sofa. 

Boultby refused like a spoiled child, and insisted 
on another kiss. 

" Good heavens, get up then," said Amy, " and 
don't tumble my ruff. I came down to Brighton for 
the fresh air, and for three days I have inhaled none 
of it ; and I am not sure that I shall like you. Here 
put your head on this pillow," added Amy, putting 
down his head, and rolling a thick table-napkin about 
it. " So let me fancy you my husband, and in your 
304 




PACK SCTJLP. 



<zr 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

night-cap. There," said Amy, holding her head first 
on one side, then on the other, in order to take a full 
view of his little, black, ugly face, which examination 
was not favourable to her lover. 

" Get up this instant ! " said she, with such fierce- 
ness as immediately set him on his legs* 

" I told you so," said 1^ " but you would not believe 
me." 

Boultby hoped his sweet Amy was joking ; and he 
did well to make the most and best he could of the 
evening : for he was never admitted afterwards. 

Lord Robert Manners, whose regiment was sta- 
tioned in that neighbourhood, was very attentive to 
me. His lordship is one of the most amiable young 
men I ever met with. His finely turned head might 
be copied for that of the Apollo Belvidere, and yet he 
has no vanity. In short a more manly, honourable, 
unaffected being does not exist ; and much I regret 
the ill-health under which he has always suffered. 
His lordship was kind enough to give me my first 
lesson in riding ; often accompanied by the French 
Due de Guiche, who was in the Prince Regent's 
Regiment, and Colonel Palmer. The latter invited 
me to accompany Lord Robert to the mess-dinner 
at Lewes. It must more resemble a small select 
private party than a mess-room, as they seldom 
mustered more than seven or eight persons together 
at table. 

Bob Manners, as Lord Robert is universally called, 
was remarkably absent, and spoke but little, yet he 
possessed a certain degree of quaint, odd humour. 

" Those leaders are not bad : who made them ? " 
asked George Brummell, one day of his lordship, 

"Why, the breeches-maker," said Bob Manners, 
speaking very slow. 

I accidentally had some conversation with an old 
infantry officer, belonging to a regiment which had 
fought some very hard battles, I think it was the 
50th, and nick-named the Dirty Half-hundred; 
but I know their courage was in high repute, 
- i u 305 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

although the officers were not polished men by any 
means, 

Speaking of Lord Robert, my new acquaintance 
remarked that he was a fine, high-bred looking 
fellow. 

"The Tenth are a very fine looking regiment, take 
them altogether," continued he, "and they wear 
very fine laced jackets ; but what service have they 
seen ? And yet they hold us poor fellows very cheap, 
I dare say. The anniversary dinner, by which we are 
to celebrate the battle where our officers are allowed 
to have particularly distinguished themselves, happens 
next Monday : but I suppose your dandies of the 
Tenth will not condescend to join our humble 
mess!" 

I afterwards repeated this conversation to Lord 
Robert in the presence of Colonel Palmer. 

" Indeed," said his lordship, " the regiment do us 
great injustice in saying we hold them cheap : on the 
contrary, while answering for myself, who hold their 
courage in the highest respect and estimation, I 
think I may, at the same time, answer for the whole 
of my regiment." 

Colonel Palmer readily joined Lord Robert in his 
unequivocal expressions of approbation. 

" For my part," continued Lord Robert, " I shall 
not only be happy in such an opportunity of becoming 
personally acquainted with the brave officers of the 
50th regiment ; but 1 shall feel hurt arid astonished if 
a single officer of the Tenth, now at Lewes, who may 
be favoured with an invitation to their dinner, should 
fail to attend to it. At the same time, I wish you 
would tell your new acquaintance that while, perhaps, 
we envy the laurels they have been allowed to gather, 
they are bound to believe in our readiness to lose our 
best blood in the service of our country, whenever we 
are permitted so to prove our courage ; but it would 
be illiberal to blame us for the freshness of our 
jackets." 

Every officer in the Tenth Hussars who happened 
806 



MEMOIRS OP HARRIETTS WILSON 

to be quartered at Lewes, made it a point, stimulated 
perhaps by what Lord Robert had said on the subject, 
to hold himself disengaged for the day, on which they 
all fully expected to receive an invitation from the 
officers of the 50th regiment, when, lo 1 not. one of 
them was asked ! 

Lords Hertford and Lowther were our constant 
visitors at Brighton. 

One evening, when His Majesty had a party of 
ladies and gentlemen at the pavilion, we concluded 
that Lord Hertford would not be able to leave it. 
However, at nine his lordship arrived, accompanied by 
a hamper of claret. 

" Much as I respect His Majesty," said Lord Hert- 
ford, " I cannot stand the old women at Brighton." 

We received letters from Julia and Sophia, de- 
claring they had changed their minds and would not 
join us. 

I saw a great deal of the Due de Guiche, who used 
to be called, while in the Tenth Hussars, the Count 
de Grammont, during my short stay at Brighton. He 
was very handsome, possessed a quick sense of honour, 
and ever avoided even the shadow of an obligation : I 
need not add that he, through strict economy, kept 
himself at all times out of debt. As an officer he was 
severe and ill-tempered, but well versed in military 
business : as a Frenchman he was fonder of flirting 
than loving; and, with regard to his being a fop, 
what could a handsome young Frenchman do less ? 

I refused to see Dr. Bankhead, who had left his card 
by Lord Frederick Bentinck's desire ; because the world 
said he was a terrible fellow. However, being after- 
wards afflicted with an attack of inflammation in my 
chest, I ventured to send for this Herculean Beauty ! 
" He cannot," thought I, * be so very impudent as he 
has been represented to me by many, and particularly 
by Mr. Hoare the banker, who declared that maids, 
wives, and widows were often obliged to pull their 
bells for protection. Then Lord Castlereagh has too 

807 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

touch good taste to encourage and patronise him as 
he does, and has done for years, if he were so very 
bad." 

Dr. Bankhead came into my bedroom with the air 
and freedom of a very old acquaintance. 

" What is the matter, my sweet young lady ? " said 
he, " and what can I do for you ? " 

" I see 1 I hear ! " said he, interrupting me, observ- 
ing that I spoke with difficulty. " Fever ? Yes," 
feeling my pulse. " Oppression ? ah ! Cough ? hey ? 
Do not speak, my sweet creature. Do not speak I 
You have been exposing that sweet bosom ! " endea- 
vouring to lay his hand upon it, which I resisted with 
all my strength of hand. 

" Nay 1 nay ! nay ! stop ! stop ! stop ! hush ! hush I 
You'll increase your fever, my charming young lady ; 
and then what will your friend Fred Bentinck say ? 
quiet ! There, don't speak, can you swallow a saline 
draught ? and I'm thinking too of James's powders ; 
but it is absolutely necessary for me to press my hand 
on that part of your chest or side which is most painful 
to you." 

" Doctor Bankhead, excuse me. This is by no 
means my first attack of the kind, and I know pretty 
well how to treat it." 

"There! there! then! be quiet my dear young 
lady. I give you my honour you have already 
increased your fever. Hush ! you will take your 
draught to-night ? " 

" Doctor Bankhead, I must " 

" Nay I nay I there ! keep yourself quiet," I entreat. 
" Quietness is everything in these inflammatory fevers, 
you know, my sweet." 

" Doctor Bankhead, I must ring the bell." 

" Hush ! there 1 there then ! I would not frighten 
you for the world : and I am apt to frighten ladies, 1 
am indeed! hush! Be quiet! there then! hush! I 
am indeed, as you may have heard, a most terrible 
fellow ! Be quiet, my sweet lady ! Swallow this 
glass of lemonade ! There ! now lie very still. In 
308 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

short, so terrible am I, that I frighten every woman 
on earth, except Mrs. Bankhead and my Lady 
Heathcote ! hush ! " 

" Doctor Bankhead ! this is an unmanly advantage 

" Oh, you naughty creature, to flurry yourself ! I 
would not frighten you for the world ! And, since I 
am so terrifying, take me altogether " 

" Doctor Bankhead, 111 ring the bell," and I tried 
to reach it. 

" You shall have just as much or as little of me as 
you please. Be still, pray ! pray ! and this is an offer 
I never before made to any woman, not even to my 
dear friend Lkdy Heathcote." 

Dr. Bankhead laid his giant hand on my bosom to 
demonstrate one of his former feats. My passions 
were now roused in a peculiar manner, and, catching 
hold of my bell, I never ceased ringing it till my maid 
appeared. 

I desired her to show Dr. Bankhead out of my 
house, " And, above all things, do not leave my room 
without him." 

" Good morning, to you, my sweet, comical lady," 
said Bankhead, and left the house. 

In about two months we all grew tired of Brighton, 
except Fanny, who had never been happier than while 
galloping over the Downs with the first man she had 
really loved; perhaps the first who had treated her 
with the respect and kindness her very excellent and 
benevolent qualities so well deserved. 

1 often heard from Fred Bentinck, as well as from 
His Grace of Leinster. The latter joined me in 
London towards the end of November. I had only 
been settled there a few days, when I was surprised by 
a visit from the young Marquis of Worcester, whose 
very existence I had almost forgotten. 

He expressed his gratitude for being admitted and 
sat with me for two hours, when our tete-a-tete was 
interrupted by Leinster. He then took his leave, 
having conversed only on indifferent subjects, without 

309 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

once touching on the passion Lord Deerhurst and 
several others had assured me that he entertained 
for me. 

Leinster appeared much annoyed at the reap- 
pearance of Worcester and talked of going to Spain. 

" I am a great fool," said His Grace, " and travelling 
may make me wiser." 

I shook my head. 

" At all events," continued His Grace, " I shall be 
out of the way of seeing Worcester make love to you. 
I am no match for him, being of a colder and less 
romantic turn. Worcester would go to the devil for 
you, and will make you love him, sooner or later. I 
cannot contend with him, and therefore I have almost 
decided to go with my brother, Lord Henry, and 
young FitzGibbon to the Continent." 

" In the meantime," said I, " you really are wrong 
to tease yourself about Lord Worcester, who never 
makes love to me : and this morning he talked of 
nothing but riding and Lord Byron's poetry and 
music. He did not even offer to shake hands with 
me, and, when I held out my hand for that purpose, 
he seemed to shake and tremble, as though it had been 
something quite unnatural." 

" When are you to see him again ? " 

I assured His Grace that nothing like an appoint- 
ment had been made ; and all Lord Worcester had 
said on the subject, was a request to be allowed to call 
sometimes to pay his respects and make his bow, 

I went to call on Fanny, after His Grace left me. 
Lord Alvanly and Amy were with her, and her eternal 
admirer, Baron Tuille, who told us that Lord Wor- 
cester did nothing but inquire of every man he met, 
whether they had heard anything relative to the 
departure of Leinster for Spain. 

" That's a very fine young man, that Marquis of 
Worcester," said Amy. " I should like to be intro- 
duced to him, only I suppose Harriette, with her 
usual jealousy, will prevent me." 

" On the contrary," said I, " Fanny heard me invite 
310 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

him to your party after the Opera, the very evening 
he was presented to me, and he refused to go." 

" What a rude way of putting it," said Baron Tuille. 
" Why not say he was obliged to return to Oxford, and 
was en d^sespoir ! " 

" De tout mon cceur! Put it how you please," 
said I. 

" I've some news for you," said Fanny. " Sophia 
has made a new conquest of an elderly gentleman in 
a curricle, with a coronet on it. He does nothing on 
earth from morning till night but drive up and down 
before Julia's door. Julia is quite in a passion about 
it, and says it looks so very odd." 

" Talk of the devil," said Alvanly, as Julia and 
Sophia entered the room. 

" Of fair Hebe rather/' Baron Tuille observed. 

" Well Miss Sophia, so you've made a new con- 
quest ? " said Fanny. 

"Yes," answered Sophia: "but it is of a very 
dowdy, dry-looking man." 

" But then his curricle 1 " I interrupted. 

" Yes, to be sure, I should like to drive out in his 
curricle, of all things." 

"It is very odious of the fright to beset my door 
as he does," Julia said. 

"So it is, quite abominable ; and, for my part, I 
hate him, and his curricle too," good-natured Sophia 
replied. 

"But answer me," said Baron Tuille, addressing 
himself to me, " does the Duke of Leinster go to the 
continent this year ? " 

" What is that to you ? " 1 asked. 

" Only to satisfy poor Worcester, who is so miser- 
able about him. For my part, I asked him why he 
did not run away with you by force. But he said, 
thatforce was good for nothing; and that whileyou per- 
mitted Leinster to visit you he was perfectly wretched. 
Suspense was the devil, and he could not think why 
Leinster bothered at all about going to Spain unless 
he really had some such intention." 

311 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" 1 believe you are all laughing at me," said I, 
" and I don't deserve it ; for no one can say I am 
vain : but if I were, no vanity, not even that of the 
Honourable John William Ward, could construe 
Lord Worcester's prim conversation into love for 
me. True, he blushes and trembles, which, in a lad 
of such mature worldly manners, who has already 
been so much in society, does look a little like love ; 
but this is the only sign I have witnessed." 

" Depend upon it, he is in a desperate, bad way," 
lisped out Alvanly. 

*' Were you ever seriously in love, my lord ? " I 
asked. 

" Oh, tremendously, last year," answered his lord- 
ship ; " but then I fancied it was with a woman of 
fashion. God bless your soul, a fine carriage, on a 
perch, with scarlet blinds ! Could you have imagined 
she would ever have asked me for money ? " 

" And what answer did you make ? " 

" Answer 1 Why I told her 1 would have preferred 
death to even the risk of insulting her ; but, since she 
had destroyed all my illusion, I now was disposed to 
look upon her in a different light, and pay her accord- 
ingly, at the rate of five hundred a year; which was 
handsome for the time I should continue in her company, 
which, by the bye, would not have been longer than 
five minutes ! However she refused to have any- 
thing more to do with me ; and I have now, thank 
God, entirely recovered my peace of mind." 

Worcester was riding near my door as I drove up 
to it. I stopped to ask him if he liked to join me at 
Astley's, where I proposed going with the Duke of 
Leinster. He hesitated, and seemed really annoyed 
at the idea of Leinster being of the party. 

" If you really wish it," said his lordship, reddening. 

" Oh, I shall not break my heart," I answered, 
" only it has struck me, and has struck others, that 
you liked me, therefore I conceived the proposal 
might be agreeable." 
812 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

" I am afraid," said Lord Worcester, " that I shall 
be thought very intrusive and impertinent ; but I am 
most anxious and desirous to be allowed to say one 
word to you before you go to Astley's to-night." 

" Leinster comes for me at half-past seven," I re- 
plied, " so call at seven." 

Worcester rode off, all gratitude. 

I was surprised to find Leinster sitting at my 
pianoforte, in my drawing-room, when I got upstairs. 
" What again at your hundred and fourth psalm ? " 
said I, "after all the promises you have made to 
become less righteous ? ' 

" I have a favour to ask," said Leinster, and the 
boy's usual open smile was fled, and he looked in- 
finitely more interesting ; because he was paler, and 
there was an air of sensibility about him, which was 
seldom the case. 

" My dear little Harry," said he, passing his hand 
across his curly locks, " I am annoyed and bothered 
to death with Worcester's perseverance. I am going 
to Spain. I shall stay perhaps several years, and you 
and I may never meet again. I know you are going 
to remind me that you never professed any particular 
love for me and that you never deceived me as to 
your love of liberty ; but I am not asking anything 
of you as a right : I am only making an appeal to 
your good -nature, when I entreat you not to receive 
Worcester's visits till I am gone, which will be, I 
hope, in less than six weeks. It should be sooner, 
but that I have many things to arrange relative to 
my coming of age." 

The simplicity and feeling manner in which Leinster 
delivered his little speech affected me a good deal. 
No one, not even Fred Bentinck, could ever attach 
himself to me, without inspiring me with such friend- 
ship as results from a grateful heart. I believe all 
who know me will admit, what I certainly can affirm 
to be true, namely, that no success of mine ever once 
led me to fancy a single heart had been mine by 
right, or a cause de mon propre mfrite, nor was I 

313 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

coquette enough to desire general admiration. On 
the contrary, 1 thought it hard, and often a bore, that 
my gratitude should so frequently be taxed, for what 
gave me no pleasure. 

"Do not go, Leinster," said I, kissing his eye, 
where a tear was glistening ; " and, as long as you 
will stay, I will tell Worcester I must decline receiving 
his visits." 

" When ? " said Leinster, with a bright smile which 
was very pretty. 

" His lordship is coming here at seven, and I will 
then give him his congt tout de ban? said I. 

Leinster hurried off in high spirits, that he might 
get back in time to take me to Astley's. 

Lord Worcester came to me before I had finished 
my dinner. He assured me that he now proposed 
to accompany me, if I still would permit him, to 
Astley's. " But," said Lord Worcester, after some 
hesitation, " you are, I am sure you must be, aware 
that my being present to see the Duke of Leinster, 
or indeed any man on earth, conduct you home, is 
very hard upon me." 

"I hope not," said I, "and certainly I am not 
aware of any such thing. You are neither my hus- 
band, nor my lover, and you never made any profes- 
sions of love to me ; I hope you felt none ; because " 
and I hesitated in my turn. 

" Because what ? " said Lord Worcester, in almost 
breathless anxiety. 

"Because my old friend, the Duke of Leinster, 
feels much annoyed at your visits, and " 

" And you assured me he was indifferent to you," 
interrupted Worcester. 

" I said I was not in love with him, neither am I ; 
but I cannot bear teasing him ; so, to be frank with 
you, and one must be frank when one is in such a 
hurry," continued I, laughing, " I have promised to 
beg of you as a favour not to come here any more." 

Lord Worcester's face was scarlet first and then 
pale as death : he took up his hat, half in indignation, 
314 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

and then put it down in despair ! Had I been more 
humble tnan I really am, I could not, with common 
sense, have doubted the deep impression I had made 
on Worcester. 

" Ecoutez, mon ami" said I, holding out my hand 
to him. " I cannot account for the prejudice which 
runs high in my favour among you young men of 
rank. I am inclined rather to attribute it to fashion 
or some odd accident, than to any peculiar merit on 
my part : still, flattered as I ought to be, and deeply 
grateful as I always am, it will yet be paying very 
dear for the impression which is excited in my favour, 
if, while my own heart happens to be free as air and 
my fancy ever laughter-loving, I am to condole all 
the morning with one fool, and sympathise the blessed 
long evening with another ; neither can I be tender 
and true to a dozen of you at a time." 

" I did not," said Worcester, half indignantly, " I 
did not know that I was quite a fool; and at all 
events, I shall not intrude my folly on you if I am." 

In vain he tried to pull his hat completely over his 
eyes. The tears did not glisten there, as they did in 
Leinster's ; but they fell in torrents as he attempted 
to take leave of me. 

" Oh dear me ! " said I, as I sighed an inward good- 
bye to the self-same harlequin-farces, at which I had 
laughed so heartily many years before, when I 
accompanied poor Tom Sheridan to Astley's. 

"What am I to do, Lord Worcester?" I asked 
" Upon my word I would rather suffer anything my- 
self, than cause unhappiness to those that love me. 
I don't care a bit about myself. Only tell me what I 
can do for you and Leinster and my sister Fanny ? 
For all who love me in short ; for I would make all 
happy if I could, provided they don't grow too 
pathetic." 

" My dear, dearest Harriette," said Lord Worcester, 
" no man on earth, feeling as I have done, could have 
been less pathetic, as you call it, than I have been, 
for more than six months, that all my prayers, my 

315 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

hopes, and my wishes, have been for you, and your 
love and happiness. I have seldom visited you, and 
never, at least till to-day, done any one thing that 
could possibly bore or offend you." 

I could not but acknowledge this to be true. 

" Well then," continued Worcester, " I will throw 
myself on my knees " 

" No, pray don't," I exclaimed, " I really must go 
to Astley's, I have not a moment to lose. My word 
is pledged to Leinster : but I believe that you love 
me better than he is capable of loving anything, and, 
since you are good enough to value my friendship, 
I will not cut you, indeed I will not," and I gave him 
my hand, which he covered with warm kisses and 
warmer tears. 

" You must go now," I added ; " I never break my 
word, and Leinster will be here directly ; but, when 
he goes to Spain, " 

" Does he go ? " interrupted Worcester eagerly. 

" Everything is settled," answered I, " and, in less 
than six weeks Leinster can torment you no more." 

Worcester appeared to be overjoyed. 

" And, when he is gone, there will be no man you 
care ab.out left in England ? " 

" None : except indeed a sort of tenderness, not 
amounting to anything like passion, for Lord Robert 
Manners : and then I have a great respect for Lord 
Frederick's morals, and that is all ! So now, my lord, 
you must set off, and do be merry. You shall hear 
from me often, and as soon as Leinster is gone you 
are welcome to try to make me in love with you. If 
you fail, so much the worse for us both ; since 1 hold 
everything which is not love, to be mere dull intervals 
in life." 

" I may not call on you then ? " asked Worcester. 

" I will write, and tell you all about it." 

There was now a loud rap at the door. 

" I am off," said Worcester. " I cannot bear to sit 
here a single instant with Leinster. En grace je te 
prie, mon ange, ayez piti6 de moi, et ne m'oubUez pas." 
316 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

He dropped on one knee to kiss my hand, like a 
knight of old, and the next instant he was out of 
sight. 

" Was that the Marquis of Worcester who ran out 
of your home in such a hurry, as I was getting out 
of my carriage ? " asked Leinster, as he entered the 
room, full dressed, his handsome leg, en gros 9 set off 
to the best advantage by a fine silk stocking. 

" Yes," said I, " but I have desired him not to 
come again; so pray don't be sentimental. I have 
had enough of that, this day, to last me my life." 

" You are very cold and heartless, which is what, 
from the expression of your eyes, I had never sus- 
pected," remarked Leinster. 

" I was in love enough once," I rejoined, u God 
knows, and what good did it do me ? " 

After all, I arrived at Astley's just in time for my 
favourite harlequinade. The house was well attended. 
I thought that I observed the Marquis of Worcester, 
slyly glancing at us through the trelliswork of a 
stage-box ; but I was not quite certain. After the 
piece was finished, I wanted to set Leinster down at his 
own door ; but he declared himself so hungry, that 
he could not get further than Westminster-bridge 
without a slice of bread and butter, quite as thick as 
those his tutor Mr. Smith used to provide him with. 
This luxury his footman procured, together with a 
tankard of ale from a pothouse in the immediate 
vicinity of the theatre. 

The next morning Fanny came to take leave of 
me. Colonel Parker could no longer be absent from 
his regiment, which was stationed at Portsmouth, 
therefore they proposed leaving London for that place 
on the following day. 

"Remember me kindly to Lord Worcester, when 
you see him," said Fanny. " There is something in 
that young man's countenance I like so much, and 
his manners are so excessively high bred and 
gentlemanlike, that I cannot think how you can resist 
him and treat him so very coldly as you do. As to 

817 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Amy, she is going stark mad to be introduced to 
him." 

" With all my heart," said I. 

We were now interrupted by the Prince Esterhazy, 
who entered all over mud, saying, " Comment fa va ? " 
without taking off his hat. 

" We are discussing the merits of the young 
Marquis of Worcester, Prince," Fanny observed to 
him. 

"A very fine young man to be sure, certainly," 
said Esterhazy ; " but good mine God, can you not 
take him one to yourself, instead of all these young 
fellows running, toujours, after you. I could not 
come near you for a mile the other night, you have 
so many people round about you." 

" That was because you did not take off your hat," 
1 said. 

" It is my way," answered the prince ; " and I do 
the same to the queen." 

" Ca se peut" said I, "mats, moi, ye pretends que 
vous ne le Jerez pas id : ainsi votre seigneurie aura la 
bonti, ou, doter votre chapeau, ou de vous en oiler 
toute suite" 

" Je prendrai la derniere partie" answered the 
prince, putting on his great coat and retiring. 

" You have been too severe, Harriette," said Fanny, 
after Prince Esterhazy had taken his departure. 

" I would not have been so to a poor man ; but 
really, I have no idea of having one's house mistaken 
for a cabaret by a nasty coarse German, who, with 
all his impudence, is, as 1 am informed, the meanest 
man alive ; besides he always stands with his back to 
the fire, without paying the least attention when the 
ladies shiver and shake and vow and declare they are 
dying with cold 1 " 

Fanny told me, calling another subject, that Julia 
had not only surmounted her reluctance to Napier, 
but had become almost as fond of him as she had been 
of Sir Harry Mildmay ; and that was the reason why 
she refused to join us at Brighton. 
318 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

I inquired whether he seemed disposed to behave 
well to Julia and her family. 

"Oh, he is horribly stingy," answered Fanny, " and 
Julia is obliged to affect coldness and refuse him the 
slightest favour, till he brings her money ; otherwise 
she would get nothing out of him. Yet he seems to 
be passionately fond of her, and writes sonnets on her 
beauty, styling her, at forty, although the mother of 
nine children, * his beautiful maid.' " 

Fanny having her carriage at the door I proposed 
our calling on Julia. 

" I am going to take my leave of her," Fanny 
replied, and we drove immediately to her resi- 
dence. 

Julia, whose health had been very delicate since her 
last premature confinement, was gracefully reclining 
on her chaise longue, in a most elegant morning-dress. 
She expected Napier to dine with her. Sophia was 
hammering at a little country dance on the piano- 
forte. 

To our inquiry how her curricle-beau went on, she 
answered, " Oh ! he is always driving about this neigh- 
bourhood, and I think I have discovered who he is. 
I believe it to be Lord Berwick ; but I am not quite 
certain. However we are to be introduced to him 
to-morrow by Lord William Somerset, who has been 
here this morning, to ask Julia's permission to present 
a friend. He did not name him, but assured us he 
was a nobleman of fortune and of great respectability." 

We wished her joy and kissed her, and took our 
leave of Julia, as I afterwards did of Fanny, whose 
departure made me very melancholy. She was the 
only sister who cared about me, and we had very 
seldom, in the course of our lives, been separated from 
each other. We promised to correspond regularly, 
and I assured her that when she should be settled at 
Portsmouth, if she acquainted me that she had a spare 
bed for me, I would certainly pay her a visit. 

" Tell me all about Lord Worcester," said Fanny, 
" and you may say to him that it is lucky for Colonel 

319 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

Parker his lordship never turned an eye of love on 
me." 

I came home very dull indeed, and was informed 
that Leinster, who had been waiting for me more than 
an hour, had just left the house ; but a genteel young 
Frenchwoman was still in my dressing-room. She 
came to offer herself in the place of my late dame de 
compagnie, Miss Eliza Higgins. 

" Je vous salue, mademoiselle" said I, as I entered 
my little boudoir. " D'oii venez vous ? " 

She informed me that she had been living with 
Lady Caroline Lamb. 

I liked her appearance very much : it was modest, 
quiet, and unaffected. What a contrast to that Miss 
Eliza Higgins ! She did not look as if she was twenty; 
but she assured me, sur son honneur, she was in her 
twenty-sixth year. I engaged her at once, declined 
to inquire her character of Lady Caroline, and 
requested her to come to me the next day. 

I never talk much to servants or companions when 
they come to be hired. If I dislike their faces 1 tell 
them I am engaged: if the contrary is the case I 
desire them to come to rne on trial. Wherefore 
should one ask them, " Can you dress hair ? " " Are 
you quick, good-tempered, honest, handy," &c. &c, 5 
when one can as well answer all these questions in 
their name, oneself, with a single yes ? 

I passed a restless night. No woman ever felt le 
besoin daimer with greater ardour than I. What 
could I not have been, what could I not have under- 
taken for the friend, the companion, the husband of 
my choice ? En attendant, methought, Lord Wor- 
cester knew how to love : that was something ; but 
then, where was the power of thought, the magic of 
the mind, which alone could ensure my respect and 
veneration ? 

The next morning my new French maid, who had 
just arrived, brought me not a letter but a volume, 
from Lord Worcester : it was not a bad letter. Noletter 
is uninterestingwhich is written naturally and feelingly, 
320 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Does this young man love me ? " I asked of Lut- 
trell, who called on me before I had finished my 
breakfast, as I presented to him the young marquis's 
effusion. 

" With all his soul, his heart, and his strength," 
answered Luttrell. 

Leinster was my next visitor, and then Lord Robert 
Manners, dressed in a red waistcoat, corduroy breeches, 
worsted stockings, and thick shoes, which, I think, had 
nails in them ; yet, in spite of all this, he looked very 
handsome. The Duke of Wellington came next. 

" Why the devil did not your servant tell me that 
all these people were here ? " whispered the merely 
mortal hero, as he bolted downstairs, and ran foul of 
Lord William Russell in the passage. 

" When do you mean to come and pass a month at 
Lewes ? " asked Lord Robert Manners. 

"Your application comes too late, Master Bob," 
said George Brummell, who had just entered the 
room. " Harriette is about to bestow her fair hand on 
the young Marquis of Worcester. But your fingers 
are covered with ink, man ! How happened that ? " 
continued the beau, eyeing his lordship's hands with a 
look of undisguised horror. 

" Franking a letter for some fool or another : such 
a nuisance ! " answered Bob Manners, looking at his 
fingers pettishly. 

These men talked a great deal more nonsense, only 
I have forgotten it. After they were gone, I made my 
young Frenchwoman bring her work into my dressing- 
room for an hour. 

" How did you like Lady Caroline Lamb ? " I asked 
her, and, when she had answered all my questions, I 
sat down to scribble the following letter to my sister 
Fanny at Portsmouth. 

" MY DEAREST FANNY, The frank Lord William 
has left for you must not be lost, although I really 
have as yet nothing new or lively to communicate. 
Your favourite, Lord Worcester, has not beeu admitted 

i X 321 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

since you were in town, notwithstanding he writes me 
such letters 1 but I will enclose one of them to save 
trouble, for one grows tired of all this nonsense. Poor 
Leinster is infinitely more attentive and amiable, since 
this powerful rival has put him upon his mettle. For 
my part, since the hope of mutual mind is over, I try 
and make the best of this life, by laughing at it and 
all its cares. 

4< My new French maid has just been telling me a 
great deal about her late mistress, Lady Caroline 
Lamb. Her ladyship's only son is, I understand, in 
a very bad state of health. Lady Caroline has there- 
fore hired a stout young doctor to attend on him : 
and the servants at Melbourne House have the impu- 
dence to call him Bergami ! He does not dine or 
breakfast with Lady Caroline or her husband, who, 
you know, is Fred Lamb's brother, the Honourable 
William Lamb ; but he is served in his own room, 
and her ladyship pays great attention to the nature 
and quality of his repasts. The poor child, being 
subject to violent attacks in the night, Lady Caroline 
is often to be found after midnight in the doctor's 
bedchamber, consulting him about her son. I do not 
mean you to understand this ironically, as the young 
Frenchwoman says herself there very likely is nothing 
in it, although the servants tell a story about a little 
silk stocking, very like her ladyship's, having been 
found one morning quite at the bottom of the Doctor's 
bed. This doctor, as Th&se tells me, is a coarse, 
stupid-looking, ugly fellow ; but then Lady Caroline 
declares to her, que monsieur le docteur a dufond ! 

" She is always trying to persuade her servants that 
sleep is unnecessary, being une affaire dhabitude 
settlement. She often called up Th&fese in the middle 
of the night, and made her listen while she touched 
the organ in a very masterly style. 

"Her ladyship's poetry, says Thrse, is equally 
good, in French, in English, or in Italian ; and I have 
seen some excellent specimens of her talents for 
caricatures. She sometimes hires a servant, and 
822 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

sends him off the next day for the most absurd 
reasons : such as, " Thomas ! you look as if you required 
a dose of salts ; and altogether you do not suit me," 
&c. She is the meanest woman on earth, and the 
greatest tyrant generally speaking, quoiqu'elk a ses 
moments de bonti ; but as to her husband, he is at all 
times proud, severe, and altogether disagreeable. 

" Lady Caroline ate and drank enough for a porter, 
and, when the doctor forbade wine, she was in the 
habit of running into her dressing-room to dedommager 
herself, with a glass or two of eau de vie vieille, de 
cognac! One day, Thr&se, whose bed-chamber 
adjoined that of William Lamb, overheard the follow- 
ing conversation between them. 

" LADY C. ' I must and will come into your 
room. I am your lawful wife. Why am I to sleep 
alone?' 

" WILLIAM. ' I'll be hang'd if you come into my 
room, Caroline ; so you may as well go quietly into 
your own.' 

" Lady Caroline persevered. 

" ' Get along you little drunken ," said William 

Lamb. 

" The gentle Caroline wept at this outrage. . 

" * Mais oil est, done, ce petit coquin de docteur ? ' said 
William, in a conciliatory tone. 

" * Ah ! il a du fond, ce docteur /a,' answered 
Caroline, with a sigh. 

" Mind I don't give you all this nonsense for truth ; 
I merely repeat the stories of my young French- 
woman : and Lady Caroline has assured her house- 
keeper that Th6rdse abhors a lie. Take her ladyship 
altogether, this comical woman must be excellent 
company. I only wish I had the honour of being 
of her acquaintance. Not that I think much of her 
first novel, Glenarvon; and she is really not quite 
mad enough to excuse her writing in her husband's 
lifetime, while under his roof, the history of her love 
and intrigue with Lord Byron ! The letters are really 
his lordship's, for he told me so himself. I once asked 

823 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Luttrell, who was a particular acquaintance of William 
Lamb, why that gentleman permitted his wife to 
publish such a work. 

" * I have already put the very same question to 
William, myself,' answered Luttrell, 'and this was 
his reply : " I give you my word and honour, Luttrell, 
that I never heard one single word about Glenarvon 
until Caroline put her book into my own hands 
herself on the day it was published." ' 

"Lady Caroline, I am told, always speaks of her 
husband with much respect, and describes her anxiety 
about his maiden speech in the House of Commons, 
to witness which she had in the disguise of a boy con- 
trived to pass into the gallery. But enough of her 
ladyship, of whose nonsense the world is tired. I 
admire her talents, and wish she would make a better 
use of them. 

" Poor Alvanly's carriage-horses have, I fancy, been 
taken in execution. However, he said last night at 
Amy's, that he had a carriage at the ladies' service, 
only he had got no horses ; so we set him down. 

" ' I cannot find any knocker, my lord, 7 said the foot- 
man, at our carriage-door, after fumbling about for 
some time. 

" ' Knock with your stick,' said Alvanly, and then 
continued his conversation to us, ' my d n duns made 
such a noise every morning, I could not get a moment's 
rest, till I ordered the knocker to be taken off my 
street-door.' 

"Lord Worcester has been making up to Julia, 
who has promised to be his friend with me, I mean 
to a certain extent ; but, when he teases her to tell 
him whether he has any chance of ever having me 
under his protection, she declares she knows nothing 
about me or my plans, except that I am always the 
most determined, obstinate woman in Europe. Brum- 
mell they say is entirely ruined. In short, everybody 
is astonished, and puzzled to guess how he has gone 
on so long 1 God bless you, my dearest Fanny. I 
meant Qjoly to write three lines, and here is a volume 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

for you. Remember me kindly to Colonel Parker, 
and believe me ever, 

" Your affectionate sister, 

" HARRIETTE. 

p.S. Do pray, keep yourself warm : particularly 
your chest. Dr. Bain says your little cough is chiefly 
nervous ; but I am anxious to hear how the air of 
Portsmouth agrees with you ; therefore write soon all 
about it." 



825 



CHAPTER XVII 

VISCOUNT BERWICK was a nervous, selfish, odd man, 
and afraid to drive his own horses. Lord William 
Somerset was an excellent whip ; but he had no horses 
to whip. Lord Berwick, like Lord Barrymore, wanted 
a tiger ; while Somerset required a man whose curricle 
he could drive and whose money he could borrow. 
The bargain was struck ; and Tiger-Somerset had 
driven Lord Berwick some years, when his lordship, 
after having, for more than a fortnight, been looking 
at my sister Sophia at her window, one day addressed 
the tiger as follows : 

" I have at last found a woman I should like to 
marry, Somerset, and you know I have been more 
than twenty years upon the look-out." 

" Who is she ? " some Somerset, in some alarm. 

Berwick told him all he knew and all he had seen 
of Sophia. 

" I think I know whom you mean," said Tiger, 
" since you mention the house ; because it belongs to 
Miss Storer, Lord Carysfort's niece, who has, I know, 
a fine young girl staying with her, whom Lord Deer- 
hurst seduced." 

" Seduced already 1 you do not say so ? " 

" Most true, my lord," said Tiger-Somerset ; 
" besides, I've often seen her, when Deerhurst used 
to take her out last year. She has no eyebrows, 
and " 

" 1 don't care for that, I love the girl, and will have 
her," was his lordship's knock-down argument ; and 
Lord William Somerset, having obtained permission 
326 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

from Julia, presented Lord Berwick to Sophia on the 
following morning. 

Sophia would not hear of such a very nasty, poking, 
old, dry man, on his first visit ; but the second day she 
was induced to drive out in his barouche. On the 
third she declared his lordship's equipage the easiest 
she ever rode in ; but then, he wore such a large hat ! 
In short, she could not endure him even to shake 
hands with her. I never knew Sophia evince so much 
decided character since she was born, as in her dislike 
of Lord Berwick ; though she condescended to enter 
his barouche and dine with him, accompanied by Julia 
or myself, yet no persuasion of Lord Berwick, no 
prayers that his lordship had wit to make, could pre- 
vail on her to trust herself for an instant in his society. 
Things went on this way for several weeks, Berwick 
made very pleasant parties to Richmond, and did 
everything with princely magnificence. Worcester's 

v O JL / O 

good uncle, Lord Berwick's tiger, wanted Worcester 
to join their parties, and Worcester would not go 
anywhere without me. 

My time being so gaily taken up, I had to reproach 
myself with neglect towards my sister Fanny. " Give 
me my writing-desk/' said I to my maid, Thr6se, at 
past four in the morning, " for I have made a vow 
not to sleep till I have fully answered Fanny's last 
two letters," which I did as follows : 

" MY DEAREST SISTER, It is past four o'clock in 
the morning, and yet my conscience still keeps me 
awake till I have answered your ;t wo letters. Believe 
me, my neglect does not in the least proceed from 
want of affection. One is sometimes teased into 
going out, till one acquires a sort of habit of society, 
which it becomes difficult to throw off. Sophia's new 
lover, Lord Berwick, did not let me enjoy a single 
day in quiet ; and not at all out of regard or respect 
for my superior merit ; but merely because Sophia 
refuses to stir without me. 

" The Duke of Leinster's departure for Spain is at 

827 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

last absolutely fixed for next Monday. Lord Wor- 
cester heard this at White's club-house, and was so 
overjoyed that everybody in the room laughed at 
him. For my part I can scarcely understand why I 
feel so melancholy at the thought of losing a young 
man whom I really never cared about; but I am 
always thus, at parting with anybody to whose 
face I have become accustomed. Not only am I 
sorry to lose the Duke of Leinster, but I feel angry and 
disgusted with Worcester, for desiring his departure. 

" We were all at the play last night : that is to say 
Julia, Sophia, Lord W. Somerset, Lord Berwick and 
Lord Worcester, with your humble servant, in two 
private boxes adjoining each other. Lord Berwick 
teases Julia and me from morning till night. He 
wants us to persuade Sophia to receive a settle- 
ment from him of five hundred a year, and to 
place herself under his protection. We do not like 
to advise at all on such subjects ; and whenever he 
ventures to touch on them to Sophia herself, she 
begins to sob and cry as if she were threatened with 
sudden death ! I asked her last night why she 
accepted so many magnificent presents from his lord- 
ship, and suffered him to put himself to such immense 
expense, if she disliked him so violently. 

" * Oh, I never said I disliked his carriages, or his 
jewels, or his nice dinners/ answered Sophia. 

" Lord Worcester is quite as indefatigable as Lord 
Berwick, in his endeavours to persuade me to accom- 
pany him to Brighton, his lordship having just entered 
the Tenth Hussars. Lord Berwick proposes taking a 
fine house at Brighton for Sophia and Julia, and 
sending down his plate, man-cook, &c., but Sophia 
says he may hire his fine house if he likes, but for her 
part she will live with Julia in a smaller one, though 
at the same time, she shall have no sort of objection 
to become one at his dinner-parties, if Worcester and 
myself are present. Thus Sophia has set Lord 
Berwick to work to plead Worcester's cause for him. 
I got into a passion one day last week, and declared 
328 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

I would not be teased out of my liberty, which I 
valued more than my life. 

"In the evening, Lord Worcester found me 
seriously ill, with an oppression on my chest, to which 
I am become rather subject. I could not have 
imagined that any young man in any class of life 
could have made such a good nurse ! He ran up and 
down from the kitchen to the drawing-room twenty 
times, and poured out my water gruel and my tea, as 
though this had been his natural vocation. Seriously, 
I was very grateful. Nothing attaches a woman, in 
my weak, nervous state of health, like these kind of 
attentions ; and I must do justice to the excellent taste 
of Worcester in never intruding his passion on me. 

" Let Harriette please herself, or rather, Harriette 
must do as God pleases about loving me, but my 
affection for her cannot change. I live in her happi- 
ness, whoever may contribute to it. I may be miser- 
able ; but I shall never cease to love her : ' and then he 
winds up his letters thus : ' may my God forsake me, 
if ever I love another woman I and may 1 be eternally 
wretched, if ever, in word or deed, I am unfaithful to 
you, to the latest hour of my life ! ' 

" I, who am, as you know, anything but cold- 
hearted, of course feel touched by Lord Worcester's 
apparent devotion to me ; but I am not a bit touched 
with love. The tenderness of a sister is all I feel. 
Good heavens ! what can he expect from one who 
has loved as I have loved, and gone through what I 
have gone through ! 

" 1 don't think I shall go to Brighton or to Wor- 
cester. I am tired of flattery : it makes me sick ; for 
I know that I am nothing particular, or Ponsonby 
would have died rather than have left me to such 
despair as he did. I am now beginning to dislike 
society and, when I cannot enjoy that of very clever, 
intelligent people, I could rather read Shakespeare's 
plays, Gil Bias or The Vicar of Wakefield. 

" Poor Leinster ! that man is only about three 
degrees and a half above a good-tempered Newfound- 

329 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

land dog, and yet I am sorry he is leaving me, perhaps 
for ever. 

" I often think what I might have been, and then 
1 wonder much that I am what I am ! I love home, 
1 am somewhat domestic, I love, dearly love my 
parents, and wish to improve the little talents God has 
given me. I am very affectionate, and naturally 
honourable; because I abhor a lie! and yet behold 
me ! Harriette Wilson. 

" If you were to die, who would stand my friend 
when the world tramples on me ? I put this question 
to Worcester the other day, after I had been frighten- 
ing myself about your health ; and Worcester shed a 
great many tears, as though the idea of my ever being 
left friendless affected him deeply. Yet, no doubt, 
the time will come, and you and I, if we live, shall 
witness it, when Worcester, having forgotten my 
very existence, will, while the lady of his heart or his 
wife is hanging on his arm, pass me by as a perfect 
stranger ! This too, I said to Worcester, and, unasked, 
almost unattended to by me, he solemnly pledged 
himself to have no wife on earth or in heaven but 
myself, and wrote down the oath. 

" Enough of the sublime and the pathetic : and now 
a word or two about yourself; but, let me remind 
you first, that it is at your own particular request 
I have been such an egotist. 

" I am glad to hear that Parker looks forward with 
so much delight to the idea of becoming a father. It 
is a strong proof of a good heart, generally speaking. 
With regard to the repugnance you say you feel, in 
availing yourself of the invitations from ladies, who 
believe you to be Parker's wife, I certainly in your 
place would never seek them ; neither are you bound 
to say anything of yourself which can prejudice 
society against you. You tell me that some of the 
ladies in your neighbourhood will take no excuses. 
Well then visit them, whenever you are in the 
humour, and if they have good taste they will be 
delighted with your society. 
330 



MEMOIRS OF HARKIETTE WILSON 

" I cannot express to you how glad I was to learn, 
from your last letter, that you are more comfortable 
and happy than you have ever been in your life before. 
Did you get a letter from our dear mother yesterday ? 
Napier is at Melton Mowbray. To-morrow we all 
dine with Lord Berwick again, at his house in Gros- 
venor Square. 

" I meet Worcester at everybody's house but my 
own, where, out of respect for Leinster, I seldom 
admit him ; since, by the powers and upon his honour, 
it bothers him to death. 

" Amy has, at this present writing, a great deal of 
work on her hands, owing to our general change or 
projected change of administration. Worcester, 
Berwick, Parker and Napier ; all to win and seduce 
away at once ! 

" Parker she has already made an attempt on : 
this you with all your good-natured charity have con- 
fessed : and the other night at the play, we observed 
her sitting in a private box on the opposite side of 
the house with Baron Tuille. Her glass was pointedly 
turned towards Worcester all the evening. After the 
play, while we were waiting for our carriage, Amy, 
with an affection of childish wildness, made loud 
remarks on the elegance of Worcester's person, as we 
passed her. Our party stood on the opposite side of 
the room from that where the Baron and Amy were 
waiting/ Worcester however was obliged to pass 
close to them, to inquire for Lord Berwick's servants, 
and Tuille at the express desire of Amy probably, 
tapped him on the arm as he was hurrying along, and 
requested to have the pleasure of introducing Mrs. 
Sydenham to him. Worcester in much confusion 
bowed low, very low ; but passed on immediately 
afterwards without uttering a single syllable. 

" What a bore for Amy ! and yet it serves her right ! 

" c I could not possibly avoid being presented to 
your sister,' said Lord Worcester on his return ; and 
he spoke with such agitation and confusion that it 
was impossible to help laughing at him. 

381 



MEMOIRS OP HARRIETTE WILSON 

" * You were not very attentive to her, as I think I 
could observe,' Julia remarked. 

" I would not have spoken a single word to her for 
the world, and I only wish, as a gentleman, it had 
been possible to have avoided bowing. Mrs. 
Sydenham has, by her perseverance, made herself so 
very odious to me,' was Worcester's reply. 

" Lord Berwick laughed heartily at his extreme 
delicacy; so did Lord William 1 ; but Worcester is steady 
as a rock to me and my interests. Not even ridicule, 
that sharpest weapon which malice can turn against 
the feelings and prejudices of youth, ever changes him 
one jot, even when it wounds him most severely. 

" ' Any unimpassioned, unprejudiced observer of 
Harriette's mind and character,' says Worcester, 
' must agree with me, that it is much undervalued 
by that part of the world to whom her eccentricities 
and careless observance of many established forms 
only are known ; but Harriette's goodness and single- 
ness of heart approximate her nearer to my idea of 
perfection, than any human being I have yet met 
with, and her face and person, to me, convey all I can 
imagine most desirable/ 

" I repeat this to you, my dear Fanny, merely to 
show the force and power of ardent passion in youth. 
Dieu! comme cela nous embellit ! 

" O, la belle passion I que I amour ! not that I have 
known much good resulting from it. I might almost 
say, with Candida, ' Helas ! je lai connu, cet amour, 
ce souverain des cceurs! cette ame dc notre ame! 
cependant, il ne ma jamais valu qu'un baiser 9 et vingt 
coups de pied! puisse il vous tire plus propice ! ' 

" You shall hear what becomes of me next Tuesday, 
after Leinster will have left London. In the mean- 
time, I need not say how truly I am yours, &c. 

" HARRIETTE." 

Fanny's answer : 

" MY DEAR HARRIETTE, It is very lucky you 
wrote when you did, because I was getting in such a 
332 



MEMOIRS OP HARRIETTE WILSON 

very great passion 1 Lord Worcester, from what you 
tell me, and from all I have seen, is, without any 
exception, the most interesting young man I ever 
knew ; and I am surprised you do not think him hand- 
some. Do remember me to him very tenderly : as to 
your stupid Duke of Leinster he never deserved you. 
" I am just returned from the Isle of Wight. 
The weather was rather rough, and, at best, I cannot 
say I like sailing half as weS as riding ; nevertheless, 
we have been very merry ; Parker is so kind and 
affectionate, and the officers of his regiment are so 
very attentive and polite to me. 

" Whom do you think I met at Cowes ? No less 
a personage than your friend and kind creditor Mr. 
Smith of Oxford-street. I recognised him by his 
voice, as he was addressing a little fat friend of his. 
We were sitting on a bench near enough to hear every 
word they said. 

" ' Mr. Smith/ said the little fat man, holding out 
his hand, * mercy on me ! Smith ! Is it really you ? 
What, in the name of wonder can have brought you 
to Cowes ? ' 

" * Vy, lord/ answered Smith, * vat but the vinds 
and the vaves could bring me here, hey ? I've been 
down to Margate since I seed you. Bless your life, 
I'm on a tower.' 

" What might that be pray ? ' 
" ' Vy, a tower, man. Don't you know vat a tower 
is?' 

" ' Not I, indeed ! ' 

" ' Vy, you stupid I a tower is a kind of a circular 
journey, gallivanting from this here place to that 
are place, for a month or two merely, to pleasure it 
like/ 

" * And pray what might you call pleasure, Mr. 
Smith?' 

" ' Pleasure ? ' answered Smith, < vy I calls pleasure 
gitting up at six in a morning, and taking a dip into 
the sea, and then a hearty good breakfast of hot rolls 
and butter, and coffee and eggs/ 

888 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" ' And what then ? ' said the little fat man. 

" ' Vat then ? you ere a bachelor too, and ask vat 
then ? And all these ere beautiful nice, plump, dear 
lasses about ? Bless their dear souls ! I m going to 
take one on 'em to the play to night/ 

" ' Oh ! you rogue and a half/ said the little fat 
man, giving Smith a punch on the breast. 

" Apropos ! talking of vulgarity, 1 have had a pro- 
posal of marriage since I saw you, from Mr. Blore 
the stone-mason, who keeps a shop in Piccadilly. 
Parker says it is all my fault, for being so very 
humble and civil to everybody ; but, you must re- 
collect, this man was our near neighbour when we 
were all children together, and I cannot think I had 
any right to refuse answering his first civil inquiry 
after my health, by which he no doubt thought as a 
man of good property and better expectations, he did 
me honour. Since then, he has often joined me in 
my little rural walks early in the morning. When 
first his conversation began to wax tender I scarcely 
believed my ears. However, those soft speeches 
were speedily succeeded by a proposal of marriage ! 
You know my foolish way of laughing at everything 
of this, kind, which was what encouraged him to 
argue the point, after I had begged to decline his 
polite offer. * Look ye here, my dear lady/ said he, 
< these here officers cut a splash ! And it's all very 
fine being called Mrs. Parker, and the like a that ; 
but then it's nothing compared to a rale husband. 
Now, I means onorable, remember that.' I was in- 
terrupting him. * Come, I don't ax you, my dear, 
to make up your rnind this morning. Marriage is a 
serious kind of a thing, and I wants no woman for to 
marry me till she has determined to make an in- 
dustrious, good wife. Not as I should have any 
objection to your taking a bit of pleasure of a Sunday, 
and wearing the best of everything ; but, at the same 
time, we must stick to the main chance for a few 
years longer, if ever we wishes for to keep our willa, 
334 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

and be raley genteel and respectable. Not but what 
I've got now as good a shay an oss as any man need 
to wish for, and an ouse over my head, full of hand- 
some furniture, and plenty of statters (statues), still 
I looks forwards to better things. 5 

" Though it is morally and physically impossible for 
a woman, be she what or whom she may, to attach 
herself to anything so low and vulgar as this poor Mr. 
Blore, after she has acquired the taste, by the habit of 
good society, still I certainly have a right to feel 
obliged to any honest man who yet considers me 
worthy to become his partner for life ; and I could 
not have said anything cross or harsh to him for the 
world. You have no idea what difficulty I found in 
making him believe that I would not marry him. 

" * There, my dear/ said he, after I had assured him, 
over and over again, that I must really decline his 
offer. * There my dear! I will leave you now. I 
don't want you to decide all at once ; but, remember, 
you must not let what I a been a-saying about our 
minding the main chance, frighten you ; because 
you'll find me a very reasonable, good-natured 
fellow : and, as for going to the play, if you are 
fond of that, 1 can get orders for the pit, whenever 
I like.' 

" I presume you have now had quite enough of my 
intended, and I know you will want to hear some- 
thing of my health, about which you so kindly interest 
yourself. I was alarmed about ten days ago by the 
rupture of a small blood-vessel, which caused an 
expectoration of blood for two days. Being unwilling 
you or my dear mother should be at all alarmed about 
me, I would not mention this, till all these bad symp- 
toms were removed completely, which is now the case. 
My physician tells me such small vessels are of little 
consequence ; and, by avoiding over-fatigue and taking 
care of myself, he has no doubt I shall get perfectly 
well. Indeed there is now nothing at afl the matter 
with me, unless I attempt to walk fast ; and then^I 

835 



MEMOIRS OF HARR1ETTE WILSON 

feel a something like stagnation and fulness about my 
heart, and my lips turn blueish. However, I both eat 
and sleep well, and I am told that when patients ask 
Dr. Baillie to prescribe for them for any pain or ache, 
while enjoying these two advantages, the doctor loses 

fatience and refuses to listen to them : et taut mieux ! 
do not want to die, and go we know not whither, 
and lose sight of the bright sun for ever. I am not 
even ambitious of a show- death, to have my fortitude, 
or my sweet smile, or my calm courage, or my last 
prayers extolled. You know I am not in the least 
romantic; but I am attached to life for my dear 
children's sake, and, in a word, though it may be 
cowardly, yet I hope and pray that God will spare 
my life many years longer : but, if he has willed it 
otherwise, I will try not to murmur at his decree : 
and I tell you frankly that my sins do not sit at all 
heavy on my conscience ; because I never doubt the 
goodness of God. This is all very grave ; but I am 
so seldom grave that you will forgive me. 

" I shall write to you, my dear sister, again very 
soon ; but I will conclude now ; because I am a little 
too serious : so believe me ever, 

V Most truly and affectionately yours, 

" FANNY PAKKER." 

When Lord Worcester had ascertained that 
Leinster was really safe on his journey to the 
continent, half wild with joy he went and consulted 
Julia as to what she really believed was his chance of 
inducing me to go to Brighton. I had obtained his 
promise not to call on me, nor write to me, for at 
least three days after Leinster 's departure. 

" We shall only quarrel," said I to his lordship, " if 
you come to me rejoicing, as I know you will, at 
a circumstance which no doubt will affect me pour le 
moment" 

I passed a melancholy evening after Leinster had 
taken leave of me. He was to sail from Portsmouth. 
Should he be detained by foul winds, even for a 
886 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

single hour, he promised to write to me. The first 
day I refused to admit any visitor, and on the 
second after his departure I received a letter from 
him, to acquaint me that the unfavourable state 
of the weather might possibly detain him a week 
or more at Portsmouth. My resolution was taken 
in an instant : which wise resolution may be 
learned from the following letter addressed to my 
sister. 

"My DEAREST FANNY, Leinster is at Ports- 
mouth, waiting for a fair wind to convey him to 
Spain. I am too melancholy to keep my promise 
of receiving Worcester's visits ; and, besides, being 
desirous of shaking hands once more with the poor 
duke, you will believe me really and in truth very- 
anxious to hear and see how you are, after the acci- 
dent you have so long concealed from us. Therefore 
expect me almost as soon as my letter ; and do pray 
be glad to see me. 

" I propose leaving London at eight o'clock to- 
morrow morning, till then believe me, 

" Most truly yours, 

" HARRIETTS." 

After despatching this, and a letter full of excuses 
to Lord Worcester, I began to assist my maid 
Thrse to prepare for my journey to Portsmouth 
on the foDowing morning. We arrived in time for 
dinner. Fanny was looking better than usual. 
Colonel Parker was absent, and she was kind enough 
to invite the Duke of Leinster to dine with us. His 
Grace was very glad to see me, in his dry way ; but 
it was impossible to avoid making such comparisons 
between my two young lovers as were most favourable 
to Worcester. 

The marquis wrote me immensely long letters 
every day ; and though I expected Sunday would 
have been a day of rest, I was presented with a large 
packet which Worcester had sent by the stage coach. 
He trembled lest I should be induced to accompany 

I Y 887 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

Leinster to Spain, and described the anguish and 
misery he had experienced, in learning from my ser- 
vant that I had left London : for it was only on his 
return from my house, that he had received my letter 
acquainting him with my departure. 

Fanny lived in a delightful cottage, surrounded 
with a large garden. There were two very pleasant 
women staying with her on a visit ; it made me truly 
happy to see her so comfortable and in such good 
spirits. 

Fanny did not like Leinster, and I felt rather 
cooled and disgusted, when she forced on my atten- 
tion his extreme selfishness in leaving England 
without inquiring at all about the state of my 
finances. Then, poor Worcester was, or seemed 
to be, so very unhappy about me ; and I saw no 
chance of these boobies, Leinster, his brother, and 
FitzGibbon, sailing, as the wind had not shifted the 
least in the world ^during the ten days I passed at 
Portsmouth. 

Leinster, much as he professed to esteem, respect 
and love me, went out in a sailing-boat every morn- 
ing, instead of walking about with me. My pride 
took the alarm and, one fine morning, having pre- 
viously arranged everything for my return to town, 
and taken leave of my sister, I coolly wished him un 
bon voyage and, to his utter astonishment, jumped 
into the carriage which was to convey me to 
London. 

I found a great many cards and letters on my table 
in town : a very kind one from Lord Robert Manners, 
another from Lord Frederick Bentinck, and, what 
was better still, another blank cover, directed to me, 
containing two bank-notes for one hundred pounds 
each! 

Julia called on me the morning after my arrival. 

" Do go to Brighton," said she. " You will never 
find anybody to like you as I am sure Lord 
Worcester does. I really would not advise you, but 
that I think he deserves you." 
888 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" I will consider about it," said I, " in the mean- 
time pray tell me some news. How does Lord 
Berwick go on ? " 

Julia told me that he was quite as much in love 
with Sophia as ever. 

"And Sophia?" 

"Oh, Sophia hates his lordship, if possible, 
more than ever, and declares she will not go to 
Brighton unless you decide to accompany Worcester 
there." 

We were now interrupted by a visit from Lord 
Worcester. I will not attempt to describe his rap- 
ture, or how violently he was agitated at meeting 
with me. My readers, besides accusing me of vanity, 
would not believe such exaggerated feeling as he 
evinced, to be in human nature. In short, since 
there is nothing so uninteresting as descriptions of 
love-scenes, be it known that I was pressed by 
Julia, entreated by Worcester, and inclined by grati- 
tude, being moreover in a state of health which 
required nursing; therefore, without being in love, 
I agreed to place myself under his protection. It 
was a grievous sin, and every one of this kind counts 
no doubt ; and, indeed, I almost fear the recording 
angel, as he mounted up to heaven with mine, so far 
from dropping a tear on it to blot it out for ever, 
doubled this one, and so cried quits with my uncle 
Toby. 

There certainly was much aggravation of sin in my 
projected intercourse with the Marquis of Worcester. 
Many women, very hard pressed par la belle nature, 
intrigue, because they see no prospect, nor hopes, of 
getting husbands ; but I, who might, as everybody 
told me and were incessantly reminding me, have, at 
this period, smuggled myself into the Beaufort 
family, by merely declaring to Lord Worcester, 
with my finger pointed towards the North "that 
way leads to Harriette Wilson's room"; yet so 
perverse was my conscience, so hardened by what 
Fred Bentinck calls my perseverance in loose morality, 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

that I scorned the idea of taking such an advantage 
of the passion 1 had inspired in, what I believed to 
be, a generous breast, as might hereafter cause 
unhappiness to himself, while it would embitter the 
peace of his parents. 



340 



CHAPTER XVIII 

VISCOUNT BERWICK, in a magnificent equipage drawn 
by four milk white horses, or four of raven black, 
I forget which, led the way towards Brighton, followed 
by the more humble vehicles containing his cook, his 
plate, his frying-pans, and other utensils. Soon after- 
wards Julia and Sophia started in a neat little chariot 
drawn by two scraggy black horses, parceqiie Modem- 
oisette Sophie voulait faire paraitre les beaux restes de 
sa vertu cJiancelante. Lord Worcester I sent down 
alone, that he might hire a house and have everything 
in readiness. 

" But, if I once join my regiment 1 shall not be 
allowed to return," Worcester observed. 

" No matter," said I, " my maid and myself can find 
our way to Brighton with perfect safety." 

" I can ride ten or fifteen miles to meet you," Wor- 
cester said, and having made me promise again and 
again that he might expect me at a certain houron a cer- 
tain day, he took his leave and also set off for Brighton. 

" I have a great mind not to go," said I to myself 
after Worcester had left me. However, my word 
was passed and my maid had already begun to pack 
my trunks. 

" Pray do not go," said my wild, young tormentor, 
Augustus Berkeley, who came upstairs without per- 
mission, just as we were ready to start. " I have so 
sworn to Worcester that he would not be successful." 

I laughed. 

" What do you laugh at, you tiresome creature ? " 
asked Augustus. 

341 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

*' At your vanity, in supposing that none but the 
most immaculate could reiuse you." 

" Why, I am a better-looking fellow than Worcester, 
at all events," said Augustus. 

" True," I replied, " but then you do not like me 
half as well." 

" All nonsense, nobody loves you better than I do, 
only I have the misfortune not to be a lord." 

" I have been at least as civil to you, as I ever 
was to the Marquis of Sligo, the Prince Esterhazy, 
and many others." 

" Well," said Augustus, " however that may be, I 
will never forgive you for going to Worcester." 

" It is a very hard case," I observed : " but I cannot 
help it." 

Augustus left me sulkily, and we were soon on our 
way to Brighton. I was just growing tired of my 
journey and of the society of my maid, who, probably, 
was as much bored with mine, since she had fallen 
fast asleep, when I observed the figure of an officer 
or private wearing some uniform, which looked at a 
distance like that of the Tenth Hussars, galloping 
towards us. As it approached it grew a little more 
like the young marquis, and yet, somehow or other, 
I could not reconcile it to my mind that he should 
wear regimentals. I had forgotten that circumstance 
and felt disappointed. A gentleman always looks so 
much better in plain clothes. I was soon put out of 
suspense by his kissing his hand to me. 

Love is sharp-sighted. In another minute or two 
the Marquis of Worcester was blushing and bowing 
by the side of my carriage. He told me that he had 
got a house for me in Rock Gardens, where he had 
left his footman, Mr. Will Haught, to get all square, 
that being the man's favourite expression. The said Mr. 
Will Haught was a stiff, grave, steady person of about 
forty. He always wore the Beaufort livery, which 
was as stiff as himself, and used to take his hat off 
and sit in the hall on a Sunday, with a clean pocket- 
handkerchief tied about his head, reading the Bible, 
342 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

offering thus to the reflecting mind these two excellent 
maxims : " Respect God, but do not catch cold/' I 
enter into all these particulars, by way of recom- 
mending him to Alderman Goodbehere, I think it 
was, who promulgated similar sentiments about a 
cold church, though I have from a sense of propriety 
omitted his first expletive epithet. 

This Mr. Will was commander-in-chief of Wor- 
cester's servants. He had indeed been bred in the 
family and was, I believe, the Duchess of Beaufort's 
footman before his lordship was born, and though he 
wore a livery he had since been raised to the rank of 
under butler by the Duke of Beaufort. Why he was 
dismissed from that most honourable post, to follow 
the fortunes of his noble young master, 1 cannot tell, 
unless indeed, Her Grace, touched and deeply im- 
pressed by the pious and respectful manner in which 
Will Haught was in the habit of binding up his 
temples on a Sunday with his clean pocket-handker- 
chief, while reading the Bible, had employed him as a 
spy, to watch over the morals of her hopeful first- 
born. Be that as it may, we found Will quite as busy 
in settling everything for my comfort, as though I had 
been the duchess's chosen daughter-in-law, for whom 
he was making all square, upon the square, which 
means, I believe, in the way of honesty. 

The coachman, Mr. Boniface, had also had the 
honour of driving the duchess in auld lang syne. 
We found him by no means so officiously polite and 
attentive as Mr. Will Haught : on the contrary, he 
was fast asleep, with his nice little vieille cour cotton 
wig all awry. We found a groom in the Beaufort 
livery at the door, waiting for his lordship's horse, 
which he handed over by the bridle to the under- 
groom, and the under-groom sent a soldier with it to 
the stable. 

"What a bore it will be to have all these lazy 
porter-drinking men in one's house," thought I, with 
very unmarchioness-like humility : but then I never 
set up for anything at all like a woman of rank. 

843 



MEMOIRS OF HAKRIETTE WILSON 

Will Haught introduced my maid to a female 
servant, whom he had himself hired, and whom he 
desired to show her mistress's apartments to my 
woman. As to Lord Worcester, he was so exces- 
sively overjoyed at finding all his fears and dread of 
losing me at an end, that the moment he could con- 
trive to get rid of Will Haught, he pressed my hand, 
first to his trembling lips and next to his heart, and 
then he burst into tears, which he however, from 
very shame, dried up as soon as he possibly could, 
and with the genuine feelings of affection and 
hospitality, he asked me if, after the fatigue of 
my little journey, I should prefer passing the night 
alone. 

" And where are you to sleep ? " said I. 

His lordship informed me that he had a good bed 
in his dressing-room. 

I then told him that, if he would permit me to 
pass this night alone, he would see me in excellent 
temper and spirits to-morrow. " At present every- 
thing is strange here, therefore, if I am a little 
melancholy, you must not, my dear Worcester, fancy 
it proceeds from want of regard for you." 

It was impossible not to be reconciled to Worcester, 
while he thus acceded to all my wishes, reasonable or 
unreasonable. A good lesson this, for many a fool 
who thinks to win a woman's heart by crossing all 
her desires. 

An excellent dinner was well served, and, while we 
partook of it, his lordship informed me that Lord 
Berwick, whom he always called Tweed, wished to have 
dined with us accompanied by Sophia and Julia ; but 
he had not ventured to invite them without first ascer- 
taining whether it would be agreeable to me. 

Lord Worcester's fine person looked remarkably 
well in the elegant evening uniform of the Tenth, and 
I was so touched and won, by being allowed to have 
my own way with such perfect liberty, in the house 
of another person, that, when he handed me to the 
door of my bed-chamber, and there took a most tender 
844 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

and affectionate leave of me for the night, I was 
almost tempted to regret that I had expressed a 
desire to pass it in solitude. 

" It is a nice room," said I, " and the fire burns 
cheerfully. Do you think there are any ghosts in 
this part of the world ? " 

Worcester however was too modest in his idolatry, 
and had too great a dread of giving offence to me, to 
take my hint. 

He merely reminded me that he was close at hand ; 
and I had but to touch my bell, to bring him in an 
instant to my side. 

The next morning I was awakened by Lord Ber- 
wick's odd voice calling to Worcester. 

"I have brought you some prime apples, which 
came from my country house this morning, and Sophia 
wants you both to dine with me to-day. In short, 
she will not come unless you do." 

I hurried on my dressing-gown, and assured Lord 
Berwick that I should meet her with pleasure. 

Lord Worcester said that he ought to be at parade ; 
but declared, no matter what might be the con- 
sequence, that he could not and never would leave 
me again. 

After breakfast, his two grooms rode up to the 
door with three horses : one of them was a delightfully 
quiet-looking lady's horse. 

"Who is to ride that one which is without a 
saddle ? " I inquired. 

Worcester made Will Haught bring down from 
his dressing-room one of the most beautiful, easy 
side-saddles I ever beheld, richly embroidered with 
blue silk. 

" Will you ride, Harriette ? " asked Worcester. 
fc< If so, I hope you will approve of this saddle of my 
choosing, which shall always be kept in my dressing- 
room, that no one may use it for an instant, except 
yourself." 

We took a very long ride, and were joined by my 
former acquaintance Colonel Palmer, who pressed me 

I z 345 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

very politely to accompany Lord Worcester to dine 
at the mess-room. 

" Not to day," said I ; " certainly next week, with 
Worcester's permission." 

Colonel Palmer fixed on an early day in the week, 
and kindly assured us he would get the mess-dinner 
kept back for an hour, knowing how fond Worcester 
was of late hours. He then ventured gently to hint 
something about Colonel Quintin's displeasure at his 
having failed to attend parade that morning. 

" I shall scold you," continued the colonel, address- 
ing me, " if this happens again." 

Worcester and I rode about the country together 
till it was nearly time to dress : the under-groom, 
who was waiting at my door for my horse, held out 
his hand for my foot, to assist me in dismounting, 
while his master was taking leave of Colonel Palmer ; 
and I was just going to accept his assistance when 
Worcester, in much agitation, desired him to desist, 
and never attempt such presumption again. 

I assured his lordship that I should riot like him a 
bit the better for dirtying his hands or his gloves with 
my muddy shoes : but he was peremptory. 

Lord Berwick treated us most magnificently ; but 
Sophia, the gentle, dovelike Sophia, was become so 
very cross and irritable to his lordship, that it was 
disgreeable to everybody present. 

After dinner we played at cards ; and, when we 
had concluded one of the most stupid evenings 
possible, Worcester and I took our leave. 

The next morning Lord Berwick called on me, 
to entreat that I would consider my sister's wel- 
fare and persuade her to place herself under his 
protection. 

" The annuity I propose giving her," continued his 
lordship, " of 500, shall be derived from money in 
the funds.' 

" And so you really are at last caught, my lord," 
said I, " fairly caught in love's trap ? Now I am 
rather curious to learn what particular happiness you 
346 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTS WILSON 

expect to enjoy with a girl who, though she is my 
sister, I may say, as you and everybody know it as 
well as myself, never showed any character but once 
in her whole life; and that was in her unequivocal 
dislike of you ? " 

" I do not mind that," answered his lordship, " and, 
by giving her whatever she wants, she may perhaps 
get over her dislike." 

" Is it her beauty then which has won your 
heart?" 

"In part," answered Berwick; "but chiefly the 
opinion I have formed of her truth. I could never 
live with a woman whom I must watch and suspect. 
Now, I am disposed to believe implicitly every word 
Sophia utters." 

" And with good reason," I interrupted him, " for 
I am convinced that Sophia seldom, if ever, tells an 
untruth ; and certainly there is something very candid 
and fair in her unqualified acknowledgment of 
dislike towards you, since she is evidently fond of all 
the good things your money can buy, and I think she 
particularly likes a good dinner." 

" And therefore," Lord Berwick resumed, " as her 
friend you ought to advise her to come to me." 

I told his lordship that I really could not overcome 
my reluctance to interfere in such matters. 

" I want her to decide," said his persevering lord- 
ship, " that I may give orders about buying the lease 
of a house for her in town, and furnishing it." 

In the evening we all went into Lord Berwick's 
private box at the theatre, and were very merry, 
with the exception of his lordship, who sat down 
quietly at the very back of the box, where he could 
neither see nor hear. Sophia did not once take the 
slightest notice of him. For my part, I asked him 
several times, if he would not exchange places with 
Lord Worcester ; but he assured me that he disliked 
seeing a play more than sitting in the dark. 

" Sophia ought to chat with you then, since she 
chooses to favour you with her company," 

347 



MEMOIRS OF HARRIETTE WILSON 

" Oh, I do not like to be talked to," said Lord 
Berwick, 

Every morning of my life I was entertained with 
his lordship's prosing about Sophia. 

" I do not think," said he, " that Sophia will ever 
willingly deceive me." 



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